Spotify focusing on content discovery through playlists following Apple Music’s launch

Screenshot via Re/code

Screenshot via <a href="" target="_blank">Re/code</a>

With custom playlists at the center of Apple Music’s discovery experience, Apple’s biggest streaming competitor Spotify is also focusing its efforts on playlists for its latest feature called Discover Weekly. It’s not exactly a “me too” feature, though, as Apple’s and Spotify’s approaches each differ in how playlists are created. While Apple highlights having human editors curating its featured playlists, Spotify is basing its new feature around listening behavior to deliver weekly recommendations…

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.
Rolling out to Spotify users starting today, Discover Weekly is a two-hour long playlist delivered each Monday with refreshed content based on past music playback and preferences of users with similar music taste. Spotify tells Re/code that the feature was built by a team of engineers over the last few months based on listening data from 75 million users.

The idea is that Spotify will use this personalized playlist to help subscribers discover new artists and tracks. Because it updates each Monday, the Discover Weekly playlist should become a tool for subscribers to routinely check and find new material.

Aside from opening access to a massive catalog of music from the iTunes Store, Apple Music has been recognized as a platform for discovering new material through playlists and recommendations. Spotify’s new Discover Weekly feature embraces both playlists and finding new content, making subscription music services as a tool for finding new music a clear feature for each service.

Apple Music's playlist recommendations

Apple Music’s playlist recommendations

With both services starting at $10/month for individual subscribers, the big question is whether or not users will care if recommendations are driven by music industry insiders or machines. Several of our readers told us last week that Apple Music has been compelling enough to convince them to switch from Spotify (or a similar service) altogether. In addition to today’s discovery feature through a weekly, personalized playlist, Spotify has also focused on original content, videos, and podcasts for growing the service recently.

The new Discover Weekly playlist feature should appear for users today through the desktop and mobile Spotify apps.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. Tou Karl - 8 years ago

    Does anyone really think some playlists are going to make much of a difference at the end of the day? Spotify needs to match the family price of six, as it is six of us have already pooled our $20 for the family package plan. If you can beat that spotify then we might switch back otherwise, Apple music it is. You simply can’t beat having access to all* the music in the world for a year for $20.

    • Rasmussen (@Twitboydk) - 8 years ago

      Naaa – I don´t care about the price. I care about user interface and so fare Spotify wins.

    • Thanks to Apple Music! It prompts many music apps to make changes. The competition urges them to refresh functions, UI and care more about users. Anyway, it is a good thing to our music lovers :)

  2. travelcerb - 8 years ago

    Here in Germany, T-Mobile’s Music Streaming Option weighs in at the same 9,95 as a Spotify Premium subscription – and while including the subscription through some sort of partnership between the two, it also does not eat into your data plan while streaming on the go. So, before a similar deal exists with Apple there is no incentive to switch for me.

  3. navysandsquid - 8 years ago

    Yawn! phone integration. Siri search cheap family plan. More content. No reason for Spotify this will be the downfall

    • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

      Free tier, other OS outside of Apple…yawn, short sighted comments from behind Apple shaded glasses.

      • Jesse Nichols - 8 years ago

        Beats One is free and so is iTunes radio. Apple music is currently on OS X, Windows, iOS, and is coming to Android within the next few months… yawn, short sighted comments from Apple haters…

      • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

        You sit there and think for one second Android users will get on Apple Music….you seriously need help. All these iOS users are on Google Music right….good grief you need help

      • Apple Music is going to be a huge hit on Android, the same way iPhone and iOS and iTunes were hits with Windows users. 99% of people running an Android phone don’t care what OS they have, they’re there because the phones were super cheap or free, tossed at them by their carriers. They’re not there because they hate or even dislike Apple in the least. Stop thinking of the 1% as the whole.

        Spotify doesn’t look like it has a future as there’s no money to be made in streaming – it’s a loss leader for an ecosystem, and only a handful of companies have such platforms to leverage.

      • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

        If you honestly think Android users will get on Apple Music you are nuts. They are too poor to pay for a nice iPhone but will pay Apple monthly for music that is free on the competition. What planet is this….

      • Jesse Nichols - 8 years ago

        ^ What he said. Also, you are simply ignorant if you think that Android users won’t take advantage of Apple Music if it’s a better deal and has better content. Only OS-loyal-Internet-warriors like yourself give a crap who makes their stuff.

        I love my iPhone. But, I use Google Drive and Google Photos for my storage solutions because they are better than Apple’s solutions. And many will use Apple Music if it pans out to be the better choice in the long run.

        Additionally, my original comment was in response to your statements which were, quite frankly, ignorant and uninformed. You made it sound as if a free tier and OS diversification were areas that Apple has neglected and you were simply wrong. =)

      • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

        Yes Android users will pay 10 bucks a month to Apple but wont pay for a decent phone….cant argue with that logic.

      • Jesse Nichols - 8 years ago

        The ones that are already paying for Spotify will… If Apple creates a better value proposition… Which they are certainly doing for larger families… $15 for 6 users vs. $30 for 5 users (can’t even add a sixth). Not a hard decision…

      • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

        Family pricing is not available for Android from what I have read, could be wrong information though.

      • Jesse Nichols - 8 years ago

        There currently is no official information on what will be offered. However, it is unlikely that the pricing structure will be any different since it is all going to be managed by the same billing backend.

      • navysandsquid - 8 years ago

        Lol actually availible on Windows and will be availible on android in fall but that’s ok more ignorance and hate from fandroids. Enjoy sub par hardware and software

      • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

        You mean enjoy my iPhones, iPads and Macs? Yeah you know me well.

  4. If I were at Spotify, the only thing I’d be working on is my Resume/CV. They’re not long for this world as a company. They were losing money hand over fist before they had any competition.

  5. Manuel Mario - 8 years ago

    Spotify is one of the pioneer companies in the streaming business and Apple only has bought a company that already existed, so, from my point of view, I prefer giving my money to companies that put their efforts into innovation rather than companies that are in this business just to get his part of the cake. Therefore, I go for Spotify.

    • Jesse Nichols - 8 years ago

      That is respectable, but most consumers won’t pay more money for one service over another based on their origin story. They will look at features and price. Apple is winning. Mostly on price with family plans.

      • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

        Spotify is FREE on Desktop and Tablet and shuffle on phone… which service requires you to pay more?

      • Jesse Nichols - 8 years ago

        The REAL question is… Which service requires the COMPANY to pay more?

        You should probably go ahead and realize that Spotify is LOSING money on all of it’s FREE tier users. With no other way to turn a profit, they must convert those FREE tier users to paid customer or they are losing this war. Apple can afford to lose money on a music streaming service as long as it raises the overall value of its ecosystem and bolsters its main revenue streams. I don’t know if you’ve heard… But Apple has very high profit margins. =)

        The FREE tier has nothing to do with which company will survive as a business. The only thing that matters in this fight is the paid user base. Apple is making their paid option much more alluring for families with a more attractive family discount.

  6. Bobby Stilwell - 8 years ago

    The one thing that is keeping me from using Apple Music is Spotify’s $4.99/month plan for college students. If Spotify didn’t offer that, I would be using Apple Music.

  7. Rasmussen (@Twitboydk) - 8 years ago

    Looking forward to this feature. Seems like Apple Music is already having a positive effect on the rest of the streaming business :-D

  8. I paid for Spotify for quite some time. It always left me wanting more as it was terrible at suggesting anything and its radio feature was pure garbage. That said they always had the best sound quality. Apple Music has grown on me over the last 2 weeks. The Siri integration is a huge plus and it’s for you sections is quite relevant. Spotify also took away the ability to shuffle what I own and what Ive discovered and Apple delivers on this which is also key. Too bad Spotify is playing catch up with such a head start.

  9. is there an open source algorithm for this ? i got a list of tracks (non US music) it would be awesome if it could work on it too (creating a streaming app my self)

  10. As long as Vodafone Italy will continue the partnership with Spotify Premium, I’m staying with Spotify.


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.