Spotify’s Discover Weekly vs. Apple Music’s New Music Mix

Seven months ago I decided to try out Spotify Premium. I fell in love and I use it on a daily basis now. I’m on a trial period for Apple Music just to see if I should make the switch (I’m an avid Apple user so I am hoping and wishing that I will love Apple Music more than Spotify).

Discovering new music is probably the most important factor I take into account when choosing a music platform. So I’ll be comparing how well each platform recommends music.

TL;DR — Spotify’s Discover Weekly > Apple Music’s New Music Mix:

In terms of actually finding new songs and new artists, Spotify is the winner. Apple Music recommends new songs from artists I already know whereas Spotify actually recommends new songs from new artists.

Spotify — Discover Weekly

Discover Weekly is a personalized playlist with 30 old and new songs Spotify thinks you’ve never heard of, updated every Monday. The songs are personalized for each user so no one user has the same Discover Weekly playlist (unless you freakishly have the exact same likes/dislikes/behaviors as someone else).

Your weekly mixtape of fresh music. Enjoy new discoveries and deep cuts chosen just for you. Updated every Monday, so save your favourites!
— Spotify

Do I Like Discover Weekly?

HELL YES! It’s kind of scary how well Discover Weekly knows me. I can honestly say that I discover music weekly on Discover Weekly :). I’ve discovered so many new artists on there that I would have never found out about without Spotify. I add at least a few songs each week to my own playlists. It really made me look forward to Mondays.

How Does Discover Weekly Work?

The combination of Collaborative Filtering, Natural Language Processing, and Audio Analysis powers Spotify’s Discover Weekly.

Collaborative Filtering takes into account your and other people’s listening behavior and uses that information to recommend songs to you. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the ability of a computer program to understand human language. Spotify uses NLP to scan the web for music-related articles, blog posts, and other written texts about an artist, parsing the language around the artist. Artists that query similar descriptive terms are grouped together. Lastly, Spotify uses Audio Analysis to analyze audio features of each track. Spotify uses machine learning to analyze audio features of each song, like Danceability, Loudness, Acousticness, etc. Analyzing all these features of a song allows Spotify to spot similarities and differences between songs. Spotify takes all this information about songs and artists into account when recommending songs on your Discover Weekly.

[Source: Quartz Media, Hackernoon, Chris Johnson]

Apple Music — New Music Mix

New Music Mix is a personalized playlist of 25 new songs that Apple Music thinks you’ve never heard of, updated every Friday. Unlike Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist of old and new songs, New Music Mix includes only new songs.

Discover new music from artists we think you’ll like. Refreshed every Friday.
— Apple Music

Do I like New Music Mix?

If I’m being honest, no. Even though I’ve only used Apple Music for about a month — meaning I’ve listened to 4 different New Music Mixes — I’m so disappointed. I’m familiar with most of the artists recommended on my New Music Mixes and the songs recommended are songs I either don’t like or have already heard of. Unlike Spotify’s Discover Weekly, I’m able to actually discover new artists. New Music Mix seems to suggest new songs from artists I’m already familiar with.

How Does New Music Mix Work?

New Music Mix takes into account your taste profile and your listening behavior to recommend you songs that Apple Music thinks you’ve never heard of. Your taste profile is a list of genres and artists that you chose during set-up (you can always edit your taste profile in your Account settings > Choose Artists For You). Apple Music considers your taste profile and your listening behavior to recommend new songs from these artists and genres that Apple Music thinks you haven’t heard before.

[Source: Apple Insider]

Source: My Own Taste Profile

Conclusion

Like I said before, I’ve only been using Apple Music for about a month now so it’s possible that my recommendations suck because Apple Music doesn’t know my preferences yet [I’m hoping this is the case]. But for now, Spotify definitely takes the lead when it comes to discovering new artists and songs.