Image credit: @felipepelaquim
Spotify are looking at a button that would turn off many listeners’ favourite music streaming features: Personalised song recommendations.
One of the things people love about Spotify is its ability to present you undiscovered music that they know you’ll love based on your tastes. Spotify has advanced algorithms that work out your tastes based on your listening habits and presents you with music they’ve found to match that.
But now, it looks as though Spotify are exploring a way for users to get rid of their taste profiles. In a beta code, they appear to be testing a toggle that turns off personalised song recommendations. The button is being tested with a small number of users.
It appears to work by turning off Spotify’s knowledge of your listening history and favourites, offering indiscriminate recommendations. This offers listeners a chance to explore a totally unbiased Spotify that doesn’t offer automatic queues or playlists personalised around their taste in music.
It’s not something I’d ever personally want to do. I love Spotify’s understanding of my taste, cultivated and refined over the years. Though it’s nice to have the option and might be interesting to explore a Spotify that isn’t entirely tailored to you, to potentially discover new music.
MacRumors reached out to Spotify about the feature. They responded that they are simply “evaluating the ability” to turn off recommendations.
MacRumors suggest that the feature could be useful to prevent an “echo chamber” effect of more popular tracks liked by people with similar tastes, rather than lesser known music. However, I can’t imagine that Spotify would present lesser known music with no tastes to base it off. I should think that they would resort to presenting even more commonly liked music, which a likelier chance off appealing to a broad userbase.
Apple recently launched a similar feature in the beta of iOS 17.2. It allows users to turn off listening history in Apple Music, effectively stopping your taste profile form building and curating your streaming experience and recommendations.