Spotify’s 'Your Summer Rewind' playlist is a fun reminder that you're being watched

Spotify has created a new personalised playlist that compiles your favourite songs of summers past. While it’s always nice to have a playlist filled with music that you like, it is slightly unsettling to see just how much Spotify remembers about you.

There are already a number of playlists on Spotify that are based on your own listening: Your Daily Mix brings you a number of different playlists in different genres all inspired by your musical tastes, Discover weekly is a playlist of new music recommended to you based on the songs you listen to most, and Your Top Songs 2016 is an imaginatively titled playlist that compiles your favorite songs from 2016.

This level of personalisation is a really cool way of seeing algorithms in action. Spotify does a brilliant job of curating a musical experience that is genuinely a pleasure to use. 

It’s just at certain moments, like when the Summer Rewind playlist throws Butterfly by Crazy Town at you and you suddenly remember that you were listening to that quite a lot three years ago, that you suddenly realise how much information Spotify is not just noticing about you, but storing too. 

Computers never forget

It does make you wonder how much of your information, search history, buying preferences, YouTube views – and more – are being stored, how safe they are, and what they are being used for. Before we go fully tinfoil hat here, it is worth noting that we’re currently really enjoying rediscovering Heartbeats by The Knife, so we aren’t that freaked out.

Possibly this is just the feeling of adjusting to a new technology, and it’s only that these algorithms work so effectively behind the scenes most of the time that at the moments when you do notice them it can feel a little odd.

Anyway, if you want to get your own personalised playlist and you aren’t signed up to email updates from Spotify, you can find your own list on the Your Summer Rewind page. If you want a summer playlist but would rather have the ‘song of the summer’ from 1967 to now, that’s a playlist too

At time of writing the Your Summer Rewind playlist is available in 20 Northern Hemisphere countries including the UK, US, and Canada.

Andrew London

Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.