8tracks introduces personalization features and DJ analytics

8tracks logo nov 2014 infinity rectangle

Crowdsourced listening platform 8tracks upgraded its web browser interface, pushing new features for both sides of the 8tracks equation — listeners and playlist creators. (In 8tracks vernacular, people who upload music and create playlists are called DJs, and the streams are called mixes.)

We spoke with Founder asnd CEO David Porter to understand what’s new.

“It’s all about matchmaking,” he told us. “We’re making it easier for DJs to find interested listeners, and easier for listeners to find relevant DJs.” 

Porter emphasize the importance of 8tracks tags, which are created by DJs (sometimes quite inventively) and furnish the “language for navigation.” As such, the most important change for listeners is more relevant tags on the Explore page, based on past history.

8tracks nov 2014 explore poage

“For the listeners, we’ve introduced personalized tags. That just scratches the surface of all that we hope to build through our data science and personalization initiative. We take information and activity cues from your 8tracks activity. We haven’t gone down the path of pulling information about your preferences on other services. For now, it’s about what you do on 8tracks — how you browse content, what you search for, what mixes you listen to. All that is fed in. The output is a set of tags that reflect your taste and preferences. So, if you’ve been listening to House music a lot, and had favored playlists tagged ‘Chill,’ perhaps we’d suggest Deep House as a tag of interest.”

On the DJ side, the new site provides analytics that potentially improve the quality and performance of mixes. 8tracks DJs are not into curation as a business — they make the effort for love of music and the fun of sharing. Some DJs have built substantial reputations and followings.

“We’re giving DJs a way to better serve their listeners.” –David Porter, CEO, 8tracks

8tracks nov 2014 dj stasts

“We have two new things for DJs. One is DJ analytics,” David Porter told RAIN. “They can see trendlines showing how they’re doing in terms of plays and likes. they can also see track statistics, such as how many times each track is played and skipped. They can also see fall-off — as when a ‘clear the dance floor’ song causes listeners to exit the mix. DJ’s can notice that and remove the track.”

DJs also now have a live feed of activity on their mixes, where they can see messages, likes, and new followers.


Brad Hill