Spotify about to get a little more Last.fm – new recommendation engine

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One perceived weakness of Spotify is its music recommendation features. Let’s just say it’s no Last.fm, appearing to make very little use of users’ listening data to help other users discover new music. That’s about to change, to some degree at least, as the European music streaming service rolls out an improved artist discovery feature.

Until now, Spotify has relied on editorially-driven data provided by AllMusic, who will continue to provide artist biographies for the service. In contrast, the new artist recommendations are powered by an algorithm that cross-references data collected over millions of user listening hours, not dissimilar it seems to Last.fm’s ‘scrobbling’ of tracks. The new feature, which connects the entire catalogue of artists, is the product of Spotify’s R&D team who have been working on it over the past few months.

Users will experience the result via a new ‘Related Artists’ tab as part of the artist overview page, “letting them seek out similar sounds much more easily by clicking on the artist icons.”

  • Jakob

    Is this live? Can’t see it yet.

    • Steve O'Hear

      We’re told its coming this week.

  • http://www.rummble.com Andrew J Scott

    Personalisation is the future of all content – I’ve wanted this feature for a while, so well done them for getting it live.

  • http://spotibot.com Andy

    It’s live now if you update your client manually on the Spotify website.

    If you want some pre-made playlists based on similar artists, give the Spotify/Last.fm mashup Spotibot a try: http://spotibot.com/playlist

  • Antti Aura

    I can see it in Finland.

  • Jimmy Latimer

    I like the direction this is going and find Last.fm recommendations useful. But personal recommendations for other artists I might like based on what I personally listen to that I imagine works best not everyone else as well i.e. if it’s ‘users who listen to the rolling stones also listen to’ that doesn’t necessarily result in particularly good relevant relationships.
    Maybe it’s just me but in e.g. shown here, I don’t see similarities between Iggy Pop, Cyndi Lauper, The Clash, Prince… being that strong :)
    Still will be interesting to see if this ends up useful in practice

  • Jimmy Latimer

    I like the direction this is going and find Last.fm recommendations useful. But personal recommendations for other artists I might like based on what I personally listen to that I imagine works best not everyone else as well i.e. if it’s ‘users who listen to the rolling stones also listen to’ that doesn’t necessarily result in particularly good relevant relationships.

    Maybe it’s just me but in e.g. shown here, I don’t see similarities between Iggy Pop, Cyndi Lauper, The Clash, Prince… being that strong :)
    Still will be interesting to see if this ends up useful in practice

  • http://finbarrtaylor.com finbarrtaylor

    It’s just a shame you still can’t access Spotify through a proxy.

  • http://www.devolute.net devolute

    Spotify already integrates with last.fm quite well, although I’d love to see both parties doing more to integrate with each others services, rather than replicate a lot of functionality.

  • http://www.simonwhatley.co.uk Simon Whatley

    As of today the new related artists feature is appearing on my Spotify and it is a great improvement on the previous incarnation.

    I agree with @devolute however, it’d be great to see the Last.fm and Spotify services working closely together. Maybe CBS should get their wallet out?

    • Lex

      oh, that’s a laugh… like CBS haven’t been kicking themselves for overpaying for last.fm

  • Steve Brammer

    The new feature looks good. The choice of screen dump to promote the new feature is a little unfortunate though since it features Bob Dylan in first place in the top left hand corner. An artist who has chosen to remove all of his tracks from Spotify.

    The record industry is really stifling streaming services like Spotify. The killer feature for the future of this kind of service is social networking. Sharing playlists and generating recommendations. But this is severely limited by the record industry’s insistence on regional restrictions and a lack of global licensing. What’s the point of sharing a playlist with a friend in a another country when she can’t play half of the tracks as they are not available in her region?

  • http://www.sygyzy.com David Vo

    Thanks for the heads up. I am going to update my client now. I cannot wait til they allow premium access in the US

  • http://twitter.com/xstex Stephen Robinson

    I still love last.fm because I have charts to show me what I listen to most or least.

  • http://www.ge3k.co.uk Matt Auckland

    Should give Spotify more of an edge in this emerging market. Seems like the world and his wife is putting out audio services like this, especially now Sky has got in on.

    I just wish the Murdoch’s would leave it alone and stick to what they know.

  • http://www.google.com/search?sclient=psy&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=Influencing+Others+to+Have+a+High+EQ&btnG=Search high eq score

    I was wondering what is up with that weird gravatar??? I know 5am is early and also I’m not looking my greatest at that hour, but I hope I don’t look just like that! I may possibly however make that face if I’m asked to do 100 pushups. lol

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