Help Wizard

Step 1


Spotify & "Song Radio" is Essentially Just an Echo Chamber & Doesn't Breed Discovery

This hasn't always been the case, and I don't know if this has to do with the amount of time I've had my Spotify account or if something about the algorithm has drastically changed - but whenever I start a radio based off a song or artist (which is with the intention to find a NEW artist or NEW music that is related to the song/artist I'm starting the radio off of) it just creates essentially a playlist of music I've been listening to - and not even within the same genre off the song.


I've realized that I haven't found any new artists or any new music, and just continuously listen to the same things over and over again which is quite depressing. The point of the song radio or at least how I use it is to discover new artists that are in the same realm of the artist I'm listening to, and I think you all at Spotify are putting everyone - artist AND listener - at a huge detrimental disadvantage by having it go that way because then there is no discovery for new artists and there is no way for listeners to get into new music without scouring the platform instead of giving good recommendations based off your algorithm. More than anything I want to be able to discover new artists based off song radio, not just hear the same songs I've been listening to. If I wanted to listen to those songs, I would just continue to listen to them. Especially since maybe when I start a song radio off something that is midwest-emo/indie, it'll still play hyperpop/rap in the same playlist which are two completely different genre's and moods.

Updated on 2021-06-15

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I'm sad to see that the old radio function is still not back in place. That was the main reason I subscribed to Spotify as I could discover new songs and artists instead of constantly repeating the songs I marked as favorites. And it was the main reason why I quit my subscription a year ago. However, I will be happy to return if the function gives me new songs and artists again as I like Spotify in general. But as long as I get nothing new out of it, I use another music app which at least brings new songs when running a radio, even if it is not as good as it was in Spotify before the change.


The radio was a great function with the dynamic adjustment based on if I click like or dislike on a song. I just checked the radio again with a friend who still has the subscription and it is basically just a playlist including about 90% from the favorite songs without any dynamic adjustments and it was even not possible to dislike a song. And even the new songs are just songs by favorite artists which he did not have in the favorites yet.


The current algorithm being used by spotify for radios for - Song, Artist, Album, Playlist - it's the same algorithm,  and it shouldn't be. That algorithm is optimized for curating a playlist where you have 2+ songs on it, and it needs to figure out what else should go on it. In this context, it makes sense for the playlist to be a spot that memorializes songs that Spotify already knows that I like, even if it is a song that I may have overplayed, because playlists are places where I put music that I have listened to a lot already. It's like a diary. But for Song, Artist and Album radios - this algorithm is nonsensical. Tkae "It's oh so quiet" by Bjork. Doesnt fit in with the rest of her discography, but it has it's sound that it would fit in with. 


Frankly, recycling songs I liked/hearted on Spotify is a lazy algorithm. I've seen tons of these spiderweb-type charts that show how artists are similar to each other. I 100% expected Spotify to have figured out how to do that by now, but with songs. But y'all just didn't. You just go for the easy hits. No discovery involved. Sometimes an artist has that one song that is unlike any of their other songs, and it's a banger. Maybe that fits into one playlist, but the rest of her music definitely wouldn't. Or maybe the dichotomy of Radiohead who has their electronic type albums, and then they have their analog albums. They don’t quite fit together. Or what about Moby in general? Every album is a different genre. Linkin Park. Queen. Cher. Kings of Leon. The XX. Washed Out. Sia** - I feel like if I added “Breathe Me” (legit as depressing as music gets) by Sia to a playlist, Spotify would add “Elastic Heart” (pop-upbeat) to it too.. because “Sia.” Even though they’re practically opposite ends of the spectrum.


In addition to the radio feature being garbage, it's impossible to discover new music that I'm interested in anymore. The playlists that are supposed to help me find new music (discover weekly, daily mixes, etc.) just aren't good at recommending music I would actually want to hear, so I just don't even check them. It's crazy because I used to meticulously add every Discovery Weekly for each week to an archive discover weekly playlist, which had every week's list for years so I could wouldn't miss any song they recommended. I legit haven't used any of those in years. My next go-to was mostly by chance finding a song that I would like, and then creating a song radio from it. That was a great way to find new music, and it was reliable! At that point, Discover Weekly seemed like it was just music that Spotify was peddling to me, which sucked. You can't make fetch happen, if fetch is a crappy song made by some dufus with an executive daddy. 


Just a few minutes ago I tried making a "Texas Sun" song radio (Khruangbin and Leon Bridges), trying to get that specific chill vibe they have. The 4th song is 6's to 9's by Big Wild, which is a great song, but... not at all the same vibe. A few more songs down we have "Dumb Love" by Neil Frances - which is like playing death metal at a funeral, because death = funeral? Also on the Texas Sun Song Radio: Odesza. Fleetwood Mac. Tycho. Kacey Musgraves. Sylvan Esso. Dave Matthews Band (this one legit makes no sense to me). None of it makes sense.


Question: How the heck is so much electronic on this playlist?

Answer: Well, I've recently been listening to a lot of electronic, and it added songs that I've played many times before, but stopped because I'd just overplayed it too many times. So what does spotify do? Let's add a song that I've way-overplayed to this completely unrelated playlist, because that's definitely what John wants to listen to.


When I'm trying to get a Khruangbin vibe, ELECTRONIC IS NOT PART OF IT. I don't even listen to Dave Matthews, so I legit couldn't tell you why that was put on it. Maybe the genre is similar, but the vibe is completely different. Different eras of music. I'm surprised Frank Sinatra isn't thrown on this song radio. If I wanted a playlist of music I know already, all of which is completely unrelated, I would just add Texas Sun to an already existing playlist. 


Even assuming that Spotify even DID get the vibe right, I don't want music that I already know on there in such prevalence. Back in the day, I was never surprised when I found a song that I already knew on one of these radios, but most of the time it was new music. It wasn't always exactly what I wanted to hear, but that just taught me that this vibe isn't really my thing. And that's okay. Discovering music NEEDS to have this step of the process, because I'm not going to love every song I listen to. No one should. 


It honestly seems like some executive at Spotify got too fixated on personalizing things. If this were a clothing brand, or categories of foods, this type of algorithm probably be great. But that's those are types of tastes which are generally static and change very little with time. Example: I like spice on my food, but I'll never pursue spicy food, specifically. In 2015, when I first started paying for Spotify, I never would have listened to anything but indie-rock or post-rock. Now I listen to hip-hop, R&B, the many sub-categories of electronic, etc. That's because spotify helped me branch out to find the niches that had the music that I liked. And I'm very grateful to spotify for helping me with that. Whoever was in charge of your discover weekly playlist algorithm in 2015-16, get them back, they were the x factor. Or, instead of putting money into a**holes like Joe Rogan, put some money into seriously sophisticated machine learning algorithms and engineers. You already have all of the data: everyone's playlists. Just figure out how it all fits together. 


Sadly, I've started using Apple Music because Spotify sucks at finding music now. I'm still making the transition in adding the playlists and stuff, but I'm pretty sure this is my last month using Spotify. Apple definitely has it's shortcomings - UI isn't quite as good, can't sort playlists in reverse added order, no spotify connect, etc. But at least I can reliably find new music that I'll like.


Spotify, lemme know when you get this stuff sorted out. I'd love to come back here. But I can't listen to the same stuff over and over again. Y'all really should get on top of this feature, because it is equally important to the user interface. We are going into a recession, relative wages are decreasing, this type of good/subscription is pretty elastic as a luxury. I don't think many people will make the decision to go without music, but a lot of people may look for a cheaper option like Amazon. Their UI is pretty great, has an equivalent to Spotify Connect (your main selling point over Apple), and it costs $80/yr... yours is $120. I love Spotify, I would stay on it, but I just can't afford two services. Money's getting tighter and tighter, and I may even leave apple music for Amazon.


Don't be the Netflix of music. You're one of the only profitable tech start-ups. But don't forget how quickly that can turn around. Thankfully, y'all don't have to rely on making your content, instead you create a UI and playlists, essentially. If you suck at making playlists.. then what are you guys actually selling?


“If you suck at making playlists.. then what are you guys actually selling?“


I suggest a new setting where the user can configure the radio, called "Tasty Radio". This will let us choose between more songs seeded by Spotify and more songs that we already listen to:



Or an advanced version thereof:



When configured like this, song radios would play songs mostly from the same genre, that were somewhat popular, influenced a little by what I listen to already and more by what my friends listen to.


That said, I like the simple version better.


Music discovery was the one thing that made me start paying for Spotify. The old radio function allowed this, but now it is trying to "please" me by constantly playing the same songs. Just to put it out here, I am not pleased at all. I want new, and if Spotify can no longer provide this I will have to look elsewhere like so many others. As someone already suggested, maybe at least make it an option to not include liked songs into the algorithm.


This question should be posted on your social media accounts. Very little of your user base goes to the community pages and many more people are outraged by the radio being just a shuffle of already liked songs. It's been a year now...


spotify radio sucks.png
Just for reference, this is a poll on Spinditty where over 6,000 people rated and the majority rated you 1 star. More people go to off shoot sights hardly known more than your community pages. Just over 2,000 voted on here. Food for thought. Good radio back please.


Team, any update regarding this issue? I've cancelled my premium because of this bad radio recommendations. Fix this Asap

Status changed to: Case Closed

Updated on 2022-07-21

We've been keeping an eye on this submission for an extended period of time, and it doesn't seem this will reach the votes necessary to put it forward for prioritization.
As such, we're marking this case as closed. This includes any similar suggestions that are received.

If we do have any new information to share, rest assured we'll check back in here with a new status. Have in mind that the idea will continue open for getting votes, so if you still feel strongly about it, continue sharing it with more users.

More information about it can be found here.

Thanks for your comprehension!


 Spotify be like "I know a spot" and then take you to your liked songs.