The well-worn theory known as the 1% rule dictates that the number of people creating content within an Internet community represents only about 1% of the people consuming it. In other words — shock! horror! — most people consume a lot more content than they ever contribute. Reflecting a similar pattern, whereby only 25% of its users are uploading playlists versus the 75% who use the service purely for music discovery, is Spotify community ShareMyPlaylists, which today is being renamed Playlists.net to better represent that proposition.
“The main difference in how people use the site is we’re seeing more people using us purely for music discovery, which we’re fine with by the way,” Playlists.net founder and CEO Kieron Donoghue told me in an email. “Hence the name change, to reflect this.”
In a sense, however, the name change seems a long time coming. Presented with a chicken and egg situation, it made sense back in 2009 for the then-named ShareMyPlaylists to originally launch with an emphasis on users uploading and sharing playlists. But once the site amassed enough content to begin to scale — it now boasts 139,000 playlists uploaded — flicking the music discovery switch seems a no-brainer. Thousands of curated playlists uploaded and listened to gives you all sorts of interesting data to plug into.
A relaunched ShareMyPlaylists in October 2010 saw a playlist generator powered by EchoNest introduced. The launch of dedicated iOS and Android apps (if a little rough around the edges) also emphasised consuming playlists rather than sharing them. This was followed by the launch of Spotify’s own app platform which saw an opportunity for ShareMyPlaylists to further push its music discovery features with its first Spotify app launched in May 2012.
So, name change or no name change, it’s really just business as usual.
To that end, today’s rebranding coincides with the revamp of the Playlists.net Spotify app that sees its music discovery functionality getting a boost, including the recently introduced Moods feature.
I’m also told that the new version of the app is built on Spotify’s new API so that it’s compatible with the new Spotify web player, and should see it integrated into Spotify’s own recently revamped music discovery feature — Discover — once Playlists.net finishes the development needed. “We’re still working out what parts of our app will be included in Discover but one possibility is that our playlist reviews will be surfaced,” says Donoghue.