Test Drive: Spotify’s My Year in Music

Spotify My Year in Music 2014Following on the release of its global year-in-review earlier this week, Spotify has also added a tool so that individuals can check out their 2014 listening data. The feature breaks down your song choices over the past 12 months into very detailed genres. From the chart, you can click through to Spotify’s in-house playlist for that style. I discovered that a quarter of my own listening was in the magical-sounding genre of shimmer pop.

The data is interesting on its own, but Spotify took things a step further with Play it Forward, where the streaming platform can create a personalized playlist of songs based on what you liked most in 2014. Spotify took my alternative dance/shimmer pop taste and spun it into an interesting list of 30 songs.

I only recognized two artists and not one of the tracks. A little research confirmed that most of the musicians were up-and-comers, so it was nice to see many new names to explore. On listening, the list trended more into the hipster indie pop arena than I would have expected from the electronic-heavy songs that dominated my 2014 choices, but I still enjoyed a good proportion of the recommendations.

The success of your Play it Forward list probably depends on how much data you’ve supplied to Spotify. I tend to use it to look up specific albums or listen to a handful of playlists that I made myself, so I haven’t presented the platform with the clearest picture of my tastes. Meanwhile, RAIN News Managing Editor Brad Hill’s more than 10,000 minutes listened in 2014 yielded a list that he said was full of perfect matches for his downtempo taste.

Anna Washenko