Spotify's new DJ feature uses AI to further enhance the personalized feel of the music streaming service's user experience. Currently released in beta form and freely available in English to Spotify Premium subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, the arrival of Spotify DJ comes ahead of the Spotify Stream On event being held on March 8 to showcase the company's latest engagement tools designed to help music creators build new audiences.
Here's a quick breakdown of what Spotify DJ is and how to try it yourself.
What is Spotify DJ?
As the latest Premium subscriber feature, Spotify DJ uses artificial intelligence to emulate the feeling of a live radio station complete with running commentary voiced by Spotify’s Head of Cultural Partnerships, Xavier “X” Jernigan. This enhanced form of AI mimics the voice of the host of Spotify’s morning show, The Get Up, and throws in personalized commentary between the songs based on machine learning about your listening habits and music tastes with fun facts about the album or song you’re listening to.
Although we've yet to experience Spotify DJ for ourselves, and based on previous AI experience, it's not hard to imagine the commentary running to charming or sometimes cheeky quips between every few songs, which could get annoying pretty quickly.
I, for one, love the live, unscripted feel of radio and enjoy listening to daily shows that have an anything can happen element, with presenters responding on the fly to listeners' music choices and opinion phone-ins, so I can see that this AI form may not be for everyone. As I've yet to hear this implementation, though, I'll reserve judgement until I can get hands-on experience with Spotify's newest personalization feature, and the latest AI development.
How Spotify DJ Works
Spotify says DJ will sort through the latest music and look back at some of your old favorites — maybe even resurfacing that song you haven’t listened to for years. It will then review what you might enjoy and deliver a stream of songs picked just for you. And what’s more, it constantly refreshes the lineup based on your feedback.
Spotify acquired AI voice platform Sonantic last year, which was the speech synthesis tech behind Val Kilmer’s voice in Top Gun: Maverick. So, it was only a matter of time before Spotify found a way to introduce the technology into its music streaming service and create new experiences for its subscribers.
Right now the tech sector is experiencing an artificial intelligence revolution. ChatGPT has taken the world by storm with an interactive experience for a surprising amount of different tasks, and the latest AI developments have also seen the tech language model being integrated into Microsoft's Bing web browser.
How to get Spotify DJ
Currently only available to Premium users in the U.S. and Canada, this OpenAI-powered feature is in beta testing form, but is expected to roll out worldwide in the coming months. Here's how Spotify suggests you try DJ out:
1. Head to your Music Feed on Home in the Spotify mobile app on your iOS or Android device.
2. Tap Play on the DJ card.
3. Let Spotify do the rest! The DJ will serve a lineup of music alongside short commentary on the songs and artists, picked just for you.
4. Not feeling the vibe? Just hit the DJ button at the bottom right of the screen to be taken to a different genre, artist, or mood.
Other ways to discover music on Spotify
As the world’s most popular streaming service, Spotify has one of the most sophisticated algorithms that successfully pushes the music you really want to hear. Spotify has more ways to discover music than any of the best music streaming services we've experienced. From playlist for just about every kind of activity, to tailored content with Discover Weekly, Release Radar, Daily Mix, Your Time Capsule, and the annual round up of your listening habits and most-played tracks via Wrapped, there are plenty of ways to grow your music tastes.
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As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.