September 7, 2021
Spotify has globally launched Blend, a two-party playlist generator designed for social listening. The feature allows both paid and free mobile users to tag-team song streams that can be shared across all platforms. Using the technology behind Spotify’s Family Mix and Duo Mix multi-person apps, this variation offers a twist; after creating a Blend participants receive a “taste match score” that reveals similarities and differences between the pair’s listening preferences and can compare their preferences to those of their friends.
“After the Blend is created for the first time, this taste match score is demonstrated as a percentage and will be accompanied by text that tells users which song brings them together,” reports TechCrunch. Premium subscribers can see which user contributed each song by clicking a profile icon and may also explore the musical preferences that led to the tune’s inclusion.
Blend playlists will update daily, adapting to what the collaborators stream. Senior engineer Jen Lamere says in Spotify’s news release that what differentiates Blend is “it automatically combines the tastes of two different users into a [single] playlist.” Merging “the best of Spotify’s personalization capabilities and collaborative playlist functionality into a single shared playlist,” Blend makes it “easy for users to get into a social listening session that is made just for them,” the news release explains.
Blend features newly designed cover graphics to make the shared playlists easily identifiable and — like Spotify’s Wrapped playlists and the Only You hub’s Audio Birth Chart — facilitates “data stories” generated by the listening pairs for sharing across social platforms. At the moment, this collaboration feature is available only on Android and iOS mobile platforms (though users can search and follow the playlists across platforms).
Incentivizing friends to invite friends, Blend is as much marketing tool as social app. Users can visit the Made For You hub and send an invitation to connect a friend to a Spotify free or premium account, explains Gizmodo. On mobile, log in to Spotify to access Blend from the Made for You hub, where you’ll click “Create Blend” then “invite” to add your Blend collaborator.
“Once your friend accepts the invite, Spotify will algorithmically generate a custom track list made up of songs you’ll both love and additional recommendations that take your shared listening preferences and tastes into account,” the gadget site adds.
Blend continues Spotify’s push to add new apps that amplify its message as a leader in personalization. But the artists that took the “most streamed” slots on Blend playlists during the first days were global in reach, led by Olivia Rodrigo and followed (in no particular order) by Doja Cat, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Lil Nas X, according to TechCrunch.