How the Spotify Algorithm Works
The actual definition of an algorithm is ‘a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations.’
Essentially, algorithms are computer formulas used by platforms like Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc. to gather, organize, and use the data that their users generate at every move.
On some level, all of these platforms are using algorithms to do the same thing: determine which users are mostly likely to engage with which pieces of content and then get that content in front of those users consistently.
Instagram uses the algorithm to curate each and every users explore page. The Spotify algorithm is no different — instead of the explore page think of Release Radar, Discover Weekly, and Daily Mix.
Those playlists are where the Spotify algorithm delivers the uniquely curated content to each and every user consistently. Users get six Daily Mix playlists every single day alone. Six!
Release Radar, the most popular playlist on Spotify, uniquely curates exactly 30 songs for each and every user based on the listening patterns they find in each listener’s listening habits and preferences.
Release Radar is refreshed each Friday and is exclusively for songs that have been out for no more than 2–3 weeks.
Discover Weekly is a bit more broad in terms of what is ‘allowed’ in. It is still uniquely curated for each user, and still curated based on each listener’s listening habits, but any song from any place at any time could end up in this playlist.
Daily Mix, mentioned before, is a set of six playlists that is curated each and every day for each and every user. The Daily Mix set is more so geared to showing users the music they have been listening to recently, songs from those artists, and their closest comparable artists.
Daily Mix mostly shows you more of what you have already been tuned into, whereas Discover Weekly tries to broaden your horizons and show you content you haven’t explored yet.
Release Radar is somewhere in between the two depending on what you listen to.
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