Music streaming service Vevo has been working to extract itself from YouTube’s shadow over the past several months, despite the two networks’ symbiotic relationship. The company recently launched new, more personalized music applications on iOS, Android and Apple TV. Today it’s taking another step at making those apps better reflect users’ musical tastes through integrations with Spotify, Twitter and YouTube which allow it to learn which artists you like and want to follow.
Originally, Vevo’s new apps focused on a user onboarding experience where you would select your favorite artists the first time you launched the app in order to begin training Vevo’s recommendation algorithms. This allowed Vevo to create a “Spotlight” feed featuring playlists and videos tailored to your particular tastes.
Today, however, Vevo is realizing there’s no need to entirely recreate the wheel when this data already exists on external social networks. To that end, it’s now able to automatically import data from Spotify, Twitter and YouTube, which is then, in turn, used to create a smarter feed, and faster than before when it relied only on manually-entered user selections.
In addition, the company says that it has redesigned the overall onboarding experience to utilize machine learning techniques to help get users connected with the artists they like. Before, Vevo would have you identify just whether you liked an artist on not, but this was not always the most efficient way to get started – especially if you aren’t a fan of mainstream musicians and other Top 40 artists, for example.
Now, Vevo first asks you to select your favorite music genres. That allows it to then present artists from within that genre (or genres), instead of just presenting some of music’s more popular names. Plus, as you move through your artist selections, Vevo will take into account each choice you make then adjust the next set of recommendations in real-time, the company also says.
While in the grand scheme of things, this tweak to the onboarding process may seem like a small change, personalization efforts are a key to getting users hooked on a given music streaming platform. Services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music today all offer a variety of features focused on developing a unique experience for their end users, from song recommendations, new personalized playlist updated weekly, user-programmed radio stations, and more. Vevo has not historically offered much in this area, having relied on getting hits on its videos via YouTube.
For Vevo to have any shot at carving out its own niche as a separate entity, and an app worth launching in a world where YouTube Music (and YouTube Red) now exist, it will have to get better – and quicker – at figuring out how to present users with a custom feed that speaks to them directly.
The company says the new personalization features are available now on Android and will launch soon on iOS.