Music streaming services gave us access to millions of songs and albums everywhere we go. They also eliminated some of the best parts of building and maintaining a music collection. There’s little incentive to buy albums when everything is on Spotify or Apple Music, and the albums that aren’t often go overlooked. But one of the most tragic casualties of the streaming era has to be the mixtape. You’re about as likely to burn a tape or a CD for someone in 2021 as you are to dial a rotary phone. That’s why Spotify’s new Blend playlists have me so excited.
Spotify first launched a beta test for Blend playlists in June. As the name suggests, Blend playlists let two Spotify users merge their tastes in order to create a shared playlist they can both enjoy. Now that the feature is available to the public, it includes a few major tweaks. The Blend playlists now have new cover art so that you can easily differentiate between them all. Blend also has taste match scores that show you how your music listening preferences compare to those of your friends. Finally, there are shareable data stories unique to each playlist that can be shared on social channels.
Spotify’s Blend playlists are now available
The most exciting thing about Blend playlists is that they update every day. Depending on what you listen to, your Blend playlists will adapt, giving your friends an endless source of new music to check out. It’s a dynamic mixtape you’re constantly building for your friends just by streaming music.
Here’s what Spotify associate designer Rosie Maharjan had to say about the new feature:
The thing about Spotify is, you don’t have to craft this perfect image of yourself the way you might on other social platforms. It’s a space to be yourself, to listen to whatever music you like, and get curated recommendations. So Blend captures this authenticity in an automatic, personalized playlist, and then shows it to another person. It’s not what you think that person will like, or curating something for others—it’s effortlessly sharing a part of yourself through music. And that’s a really intimate space to be in, but also a cool way to discover new music from someone you trust while reliving memories from the music you’ve shared.
This, to me, is a perfect feature for an online streaming service. Those that want to use Blend might get a lot out of it. Those that don’t can ignore it altogether. Either way, I’m excited to test it out.