Oh there is no doubt that popular music is still popular on Cymbal. There’s almost no way around that — on any music service. After a certain number of people, it becomes nearly impossible to avoid the fact that people will and always love the big names (think Kanye, Chance, Radiohead). Even people with deep obscure tastes love those guys.
So you’re right, the most popular music on Cymbal is not obscure, but does that make the community any worse of at curation? Furthermore, even if our “obscure music-lovers” are not the dominating force on Cymbal, is it possible that it’s actually large in comparison to any other music community? Maybe that fact that an artist like Alex G can be only a couple spots below Vince Staples is proof of that (Alex G has 11.5K twitter followers and Vince Staples has 383K)?
In terms of the explore page’s intent, our goal was to provide the best and almost more importantly, the most relevant music to users each day. You’re correct though. Most people, as we’ve seen, just want to listen to music they already know they like. That’s why we see so many plays coming from your own profile. People just want to know what they are getting.
Hope that makes sense,