Not sure what to listen to? A Spotify trial might actually be a great shout. Starting today (May 16) and following successful trials in the US and Canada, Spotify's AI DJ will start rolling out in the UK and Ireland.
Spotify says its feature "takes our personalisation to a whole new level while also connecting artists and fans in a deeper, more meaningful way" which is all very well, but what is Spotify AI DJ and how is it different to Spotify's usual "picked for you" or "made for you" mixes?
Well, as has become the norm in 2023 (see Google's new Help to write AI-generated emails, ChaptGPT and Voicify AI-made music for starters), artificial intelligence is at play here – and so naturally, it'll talk to you in a "stunningly realistic voice", alongside handling your tunes.
Spotify – one of the world’s best music streaming services – has been working on it for some time too. The streaming giant unveiled its new OpenAI tech-powered DJ feature (the same team behind ChatGPT) a few months ago in the US and Canada and has even used counterfactual 'what if?' style mathematics in its quest to suggest tracks you'll like.
Premium subscribers in the UK and Ireland (using Spotify on their Android or iOS devices) should soon be able to see the DJ card in their Music Feed. Can’t see it right now? You may have to wait a day or two for the update to roll out. Once you spot it, tap on this option and the AI DJ will begin playing tracks based on the music you normally listen. Oh, and it'll even provide vocal links between the songs just like a proper radio DJ – only this time, it's speaking to you and you alone.
Analysis: don't want an AI DJ 'knowing' you? It seems you're in the minority
As you'll see above if you watch the clip from Spotify, your AI DJ – which looks like a wobbling green circle – likes to comment on why it suggested the song it flung your way. Maybe you streamed it a ton in 2019 (ah yes, getting over a break-up! What a lovely reminder), although it can also give you a few fun facts about the artist too, with the help of actual humans working as editors at Spotify.
Do we want a synth "knowing" us and giving us tracks though? Apparently we do. Since launching in the US and Canada, Spotify says the data around DJ showed users have been loving it. On days when users tune in, fans spend 25% of their listening time with DJ, and they keep coming back. Furthermore, the big green streaming giant says more than half of first-time listeners come back to listen to DJ the very next day.
It refreshes constantly based on feedback and as with all artificial intelligence, it learns from you: the more users listen and tell the DJ what they like and don’t like, the better those recommendations will get (or the scarier, depending on your opinion on all this).
Again, the feature is rolling out in beta beginning today (May 16) to Spotify Premium users in the UK and Ireland.
As a long-term Hi-Res Lossless Apple Music devotee (with Tidal in the wings for when I need those 360 Reality Audio tunes) I find Spotify lossy but loveable. And even I'm intrigued by AI DJ; much more so than I was of Apple Music Sing or Tidal's Live social music streaming feature, in all honesty.