Pandora’s latest personalized playlist is a curated selection of new music releases just for its Premium listeners. The Drop is a customized collection based on machine learning models. The programming includes new music from artists each listener already favors alongside recommended performers. The playlist is updated daily, with the newest additions at the top of the collection. Rather than periodically delete the whole batch, The Drop will continue to display the 100 most recent tracks.
This is the second new personalized playlist from a major music streaming service that appears to be influenced by a concept pioneered elsewhere. SoundCloud Weekly, announced last week, is a mimic of Spotify’s popular Discover Weekly playlist. Although some listeners may naturally gravitate toward whatever outlets they’ve been using for the longest, the more parity streaming services reach with their programming, the easier it will be to compare their curatorial skills. Most discovery playlists still center on algorithms, while Apple Music has insisted that the human ear is superior. If one or two services successfully stand out with their ability to deliver fresh tunes, that could give them an edge in a very competitive market.