Earlier this fall, Spotify was found to be developing a new feature that would allow its streaming app users to create playlists using AI technology and prompts. Now, that “AI playlists” feature has been spotted in the wild, as part of a test that to see how users will respond to AI-driven playlist creation. The company confirmed the test to TechCrunch, but didn’t share further details about the technology and how it works, nor did it commit to a launch timeframe.
The feature was shown off in a TikTok video by user @robdad_ who wrote, “I just randomly discovered Spotify’s ChatGPT?” According to the screenshots he shared, the AI playlists feature is accessed from the “Your Library” tab in Spotify’s app by tapping on the plus (+) button at the top right of the screen. Here, a pop-up menu appears and the AI playlist feature is a new option underneath the existing “Playlist” and “Blend” options.
The feature’s description reads “Turn your ideas into playlists using AI” and notes that it’s currently only available in English.
@robdad_ Since when did they have this update on spotify. Now they got chatGPT making our playlists… also wtf is Which House Exploration😭😭 #spotify #update #ai ♬ Heavy Metal Lover overlapped – jinxknsaudios
After selecting the option, users are presented with a screen where they can type their prompt into an AI chatbot-style box, or browse through a list of suggested prompts to get started. The video showed off prompt ideas like “get focused at work with instrumental electronica,” “fill in the silence with background café music,” “get pumped up with fun, upbeat, and positive songs,” and “explore a niche genre like Witch House.”
The user selected the latter prompt and the AI chatbot responded “Processing your request…” and then presented a sample playlist. From this screen, you can swipe left to remove any songs you don’t want to refine the playlist further.
TechCrunch had reported in October that references to this new AI feature were discovered in the Spotify mobile by tech veteran Chris Messina, who shared screenshots of a feature that would create “playlists based on your prompts.” However, Spotify at the time declined to confirm its plans around AI playlists, saying it wouldn’t comment on speculation about new features.
The company today is still trying to downplay user expectations and excitement around the AI playlists feature, only confirming that it was a test for the time being.
“We routinely conduct a number of tests. Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader experience and others serve only as an important learning,” a Spotify spokesperson said. “We don’t have anything further to share at this time,” they added.
Though the company isn’t yet ready to commit to the launch of AI playlists, the streamer has been heaving investing in AI across its app, including with the launch of an AI DJ at the beginning of the year, which offers personalized playlists and commentary in an AI voice that’s based on Spotify’s head of cultural partnerships Xavier ‘X’ Jernigan. That feature became globally available in August.
Speaking about DJ’s launch, Spotify’s head of Personalization, Ziad Sultan noted the company has “a large research team that is understanding all the possibilities across Large Language Models, across generative voice, [and] across personalization.” He told TechCrunch that Spotify wants to be known for its “AI expertise.”
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek also teased other ways the company has been putting AI to use at the company, saying Spotify may look to use generative AI to summarize podcasts and automatically create audio ads. He’s also touted AI’s role in music creation, saying he could envision artists using AI tools as they create new songs. Spotify has additionally looked into using AI to create host-read podcast ads that sound like the real person, and uses AI to power its personalization technologies. That it would turn AI to one of the more popular use cases for its app — playlist creation — then, is not a stretch.
It remains to be seen if and when the new AI feature goes live to the public. In the meantime, let us know if you have the feature in your app and how well you think it works.
Sarah Perez is available at firstname.lastname@example.org and (415) 234-3994 on Signal.