Release Radar includes wrong artist with same name as desired artist

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Release Radar includes wrong artist with same name as desired artist

abcdefgabcdefg
Visitor

I constantly find my Release Radar recommending songs by an artist (say A) with the same name as an artist (say A') that I might actually wanna listen to. This is extremely dumb as an issue because these two artists are listed as genuinely different artists in Spotify and the newly recommended song by a wrong artist is listed as a song of A' in the system. A reasonable conclusion is that at least Release Radar does not look into the artist IDs but just merely refers to their names. This happens to like 5 different artists to me and my Release Radar is contaminated by songs which I have absolutely no interest in. I believe this is a very basic bug that can be fixed in like 5 minutes.

Mihail
Moderator

Here's an as short as possible version of a previous post in this thread, explaining the behavior of the Release Radar.

 

  • I receive tracks from artists I don't follow at all in my Release Radar - This is intended and we don't plan on changing this. The Release Radar doesn't only help you keep track of artists you follow, but is meant to allow you to discover new music from others we think you might enjoy. It is also one way for Spotify to help artists get their music noticed.

 

  • I get music that I don't enjoy at all in my Release Radar - This means our algorithm doesn't know your music taste so well. There can be many reasons behind this, but the rule of thumb to improve the music you receive in the automatically generated playlists for you is to listen to music without a private session, use the like and hide features, have more intentional music listening habits rather than opportunity based and when you discover something new that you enjoy, listen to it proportionally more than other content. Following these guidelines should give you better recommendations in time. It will still not be perfect and it can vary from person to person, but we're constantly improving these as we go.

 

  • I get tracks from artists that are named exactly the same as ones I follow and enjoy, but it turns out the track is unrelated to that artist and they only have the same name. - This happens if a track initially gets erroneously uploaded to the artist you follow. It can be that the error is already corrected by the time your Release Radar updates, but it already captured the track on its upload. It can happen with featured artists as well. Currently, there's no technical solution in place than can prevent errors like this happening, as we rely on submitted metadata. If you spot an incorrect content, it's best to report it as described here. Make sure your report is clear. If you can't find an artist profile with the same name as the one you follow, it probably hasn't been created yet and is part of the reason the error occurred. Point that out in your report to ensure it can be processed efficiently.
227 Replies

timerickson
Music Fan

Thanks for the fantastic community outreach Mihail, 

but wait… hold up.   I carefully read your post and still don't have clarity on a very important distinction between two issues:

 

1. RR shows an artist uploaded a track to Spotify using an established artist URI, either accidentally or maliciously. This could be either the 'main' artist or a featured artist.  This is generally a human issue, is not a fault of the code that generates RR, and can be addressed with the 'Report content' form.  

2. RR shows a track from a new artist with the exact same name as an established (followed) artist, but the new artist has a completely different URI from the one I follow. 

 

#2 is most frustrating as it feels like a solvable problem.  A quick example from this week's RR.  An artist I DO follow, "ford." has a URI of spotify:artist:7ItbAZITSFxSy5LJChXe18, 

but my RR erroneously shows a track from "ford." I do NOT follow, spotify:artist:2wDReEUohu3jvfUSONAZnX

 

Did this incorrect "ford." (the one I do NOT follow) upload their music with their new/unique artist URI, or did they upload it with the artist I follow's URI, and then it was corrected by humans between the time the RR started being generated and when it was finally shown to me days later?  

 

It sounds like you're implying the latter is what happens. If so, could the script do a double check, before the RR is released to users, to check if URIs have changed between when it was generated, and when it was released to users?  I have no clue about the technical debt for such an operation.  

 

If it's correct that "ford." was corrected by a human between the time the RR started generating, and when it was released to me, then the "Report content" form is useless here. The issue has already been corrected, the new artist has been updated to have a unique URI.  However, I am still experiencing the pain of the issue, as the RR was generated against the incorrect URI. Nothing I can do as a user actually helps solve the issue in the future. 

 

The big underlying issue here is the lack of trust/verification system. Instead of fanciful ideas of AI listening and identifying between two artists of the same name, artists should be given a unique public/private key pair during onboarding with Spotify, and the private key is required for any and all releases to their URI.  This would completely eliminate both #1 and #2 issues as described above. 

 

 

 

Ulumsk
Regular

This still persists. The first third to half consists of clone artists that share the name of artists I actually listen to, but that I have never listened to nor have any interest in listening to. The second third is re-recordings of classical pieces I'm already familiar with. If I'm lucky I MIGHT find one new track I actually enjoy. As far as discovery goes release radar is completely useless in anything other than being a source of annoyance its current form.

OverWims
Casual Listener

Yep, still happening.

I have 1 song saved from this artist.

OverWims_0-1617546505927.png

Now my release radar is recommending me this

OverWims_1-1617546554293.png

Which is from this random artist that just happens to have the same name.

OverWims_2-1617546577451.png

I have zero Chinese/Japanese songs in my library. None. So clearly this is not the correct artist. I mean yes they could sing in both languages but clearly, every song they make is not in English. This issue is annoying and needs fixing. It's not as annoying as when the release radar has remixes for songs you already have or acoustic versions etc but it is annoying nonetheless.

 

rubs
Regular

Every Monday I seem to be here again... Here's proof there are fake artists. Look for "JOELSON O REI DO SOM AUTOMOTIVO" (just like this, all caps -- means "Joelson, the king of automotive sound") and you'll find several tracks, each showing a different "tuned" car. In my case I'm certain the track shows up because of the legitimate band Moloko, from which he stole a sample. So he (the guy named Joelson) found a way to advertise his modded cars for free... just create a fake artist on Spotify! And you (Spotify) won't do anything about it. Unbelievable.

Spotify_2021-04-05_16-59-03.png

Mihail
Moderator
Moderator

Hey folks!

 

Happy to see all the appreciation for us trying to clarify things. We're giving it our best!

 

I'll be taking some leave soon, but wanted to jump in and reply before going off.

 

@w9t6l-t6s_ok - If by tag, you mean add other artists as featured, then - yes, you can report them the same way. Please note however, that it's more difficult for the team to discern if artists have maybe collaborated or been sampled or similar. Those would be valid feature reasons. In any case, reporting functions the same for those as well. You raise an interesting point with your 2nd question. As far as we understand, there shouldn't be an impact as the RR focuses on who you follow. To be safe, you can always just pick "I don't like this song".

Something curious regarding your last point about report incorrect metadata: We used to have something like this in the form of a specialized website called Line-In, where users could help correct metadata issues. Due to a variety of reasons we had to shut it down, but it could be something that we look into again in the future.

 

@jeremycorbett - Trust us, we know the feeling when a detailed reply gets flushed down the internet tubes. Sorry to hear that happened! Regarding your post - we can only take action based on empirical data. When we're dealing with numbers that range into the hundreds of millions, gathered by actual usage data, a valid statistical assumption would be that if this was more prevalent, there would be more... well... more of anything really. One thing we'd like to make clear is we're not trying to downplay this, but just to bring it into perspective as to why this is difficult to tackle right now.

 

@arcadechan - Glad to hear you found the info useful! To answer your question - yes, if the two artists have distinct artist pages, that meas they have unique identifiers, that the system uses for all algorithms. That being said, you're probably getting this consistently, as this artist's distributor also seems to upload it consistently with wrong metadata, so it might still happen because during the Release Radar capture, it would have the other ID. Wish there was anything else we could do to help at this point, really. Thank you so much for your friendly tone and understanding!

 

@rubs - seems this has since been corrected and the EP has been separated to its unique page. If you have reported this, it might've been your report that accomplished this 🙂 For the time being this indeed is not something we can prevent from happening, but we are strong believers in the saying "never say never".

 

@spotix - You are absolutely correct! I hope my primary school math teacher doesn't see this. Please don't tell, I received enough mocks from my team mates already :'D I've went ahead and edited my silly mistake, thanks for pointing it out! However, do consider we're still comparing something withing the decimals of a 0 to something within the decimals of a 0. As mentioned to jeremycorbett, we would still be expecting to hear more about this, especially from our subscribers, if those figures are really way off, hence why we picked a really big factor multiplier. Changing that multiplier has an exponential effect on your calculations as well. At the end of the day, we can only act based on factual data and reports. To re-state, we're not trying to downplay this, but rather to provide perspective and transparency. Your last sentence is reassuring that we hopefully succeeded at this. Thank you!

 

Hope I managed to cover everything. Take care all!

MihailModerator
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
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“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” - Keith Richards

w9t6l-t6s_ok
Regular

You do have a report deceptive content link on artists: https://support.spotify.com/ca-en/content-policy-reporting/

Can you add something there for metadata?

 

Here is one from my RR today: spotify:track:0OXEbTAvGW8oOC0jxag5gt

Tagged Justice which leads to spotify:artist:1P7LEMD31jxiljPh53dax6 I follow spotify:artist:1gR0gsQYfi6joyO1dlp76N Pretty obvious that Justice was not sampled.

to_be_still
Music Fan

@Mihail

I just want to point out some other considerations when trying to gauge how many users are indeed affected. The first thing is your baseline, the reports collected over the month. If I understand correctly, in the end you took all reports into account and therefore I assume your extrapolated number is supposed to represent not only the algorithm actually failing but also gauge the amount of manual errors when artists upload the music. If that is the case, the number is already skewed by explicitly saying you only wanted reports of artists showing up in the RR without their own page. I alone could have easily inflated the number of reports without that restriction in place.

The other things to take into account would be how many users actually listen to their RR to begin with? How many artists do those users follow on average? I for one follow a lot of artists (around 1400) and the RR is actually a good incentive to do so (I really like the RR otherwise I would not bother writing anything and its current form is preferable to no RR, to make that clear) but the more artists you follow the bigger the chance you encounter the phenomenon (and how unique the artist names are). The less artists you follow the less chance of a wrongly linked artists there is and the chance that a recommendation is wrongly linked and it actually is spotted as such is even lower because the user does not know what the artists is supposed to sound like in the first place (whether he likes it or not does not really matter in that case). Therefore I would expect the number of artists you follow to actually be the main factor that affects how frequent the issue appears. Of course there is also the question how many users actually use the community.

Those are the factors I can think off the top of my head which affect how likely you encounter the problem.  I'm pretty sure that taking all those factors into account would make the current extrapolated number less generous than the factor of 100 implies. I would actually argue that the estimate is affected by so many other factors that I would trust my own RR as a better indicator of the issue despite its awful sample size.

All that said, I like that you looked into it and made it as transparent as you did. But I don't think that it is not a widespread problem if you fulfil the requirements for it to be a problem, its probably more that people just don't care enough/accept it or simply just don't notice.

 

EDIT: corrected some typos and some rewording for better clarity

jeremycorbett
Roadie

I just sent a long detailed response to this but got an error when I tried to post. Urggghhh.

 

To summarise, please don't state that this is only affecting a handful of your users, when its actually very hard for your users to actually know about this reporting process and have the energy to go through all the steps to do it correctly. This could be affecting 100% of your users, you just aren't making it easy for us to tell you.

w9t6l-t6s_ok
Regular

Thanks for explaining this. It's appreciated.

 

I still have a couple questions:

 

1. What about artists that clearly tag another artists just for exposure? For example, an unknown artist tags Kendrik Lamar just for the exposure but it's clear Kendrik Lamar had nothing to do with the song. They're riding on the backs on popular artists and abusing the system. Do we report these the same way?

 

2. If I say "I don't like this artist" when the metadata error happens does that prevent the true artist from showing up in my RR again? It would be nice to have a "report incorrect metadata" button or something. This would give Spotify better statistics on how often it's happening. The hardcore fans come here to report.

Mihail
Moderator
Moderator

Here's an as short as possible version of a previous post in this thread, explaining the behavior of the Release Radar.

 

  • I receive tracks from artists I don't follow at all in my Release Radar - This is intended and we don't plan on changing this. The Release Radar doesn't only help you keep track of artists you follow, but is meant to allow you to discover new music from others we think you might enjoy. It is also one way for Spotify to help artists get their music noticed.

 

  • I get music that I don't enjoy at all in my Release Radar - This means our algorithm doesn't know your music taste so well. There can be many reasons behind this, but the rule of thumb to improve the music you receive in the automatically generated playlists for you is to listen to music without a private session, use the like and hide features, have more intentional music listening habits rather than opportunity based and when you discover something new that you enjoy, listen to it proportionally more than other content. Following these guidelines should give you better recommendations in time. It will still not be perfect and it can vary from person to person, but we're constantly improving these as we go.

 

  • I get tracks from artists that are named exactly the same as ones I follow and enjoy, but it turns out the track is unrelated to that artist and they only have the same name. - This happens if a track initially gets erroneously uploaded to the artist you follow. It can be that the error is already corrected by the time your Release Radar updates, but it already captured the track on its upload. It can happen with featured artists as well. Currently, there's no technical solution in place than can prevent errors like this happening, as we rely on submitted metadata. If you spot an incorrect content, it's best to report it as described here. Make sure your report is clear. If you can't find an artist profile with the same name as the one you follow, it probably hasn't been created yet and is part of the reason the error occurred. Point that out in your report to ensure it can be processed efficiently.
MihailModerator
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Like.
 
“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” - Keith Richards

spotix
Regular

@Mihail wrote:

 

First, some data facts!

 

Since we asked for your reports a month ago, we received a total of 61 reports.

 

...

 

For the 1 month investigative period, that would be 1,360,000,000 Release Radar playlists generated.

That amounts to reports for 0.00000004% of the playlists.


I want to open this up by firstly saying thank you for giving us a better insight as to why this happens, and why it's so difficult to fix.

 

Your figures are not correct though, and I want to clear them up to give everyone some perspective.

 

  • Firstly, you're relying on data pooled from two completely different groups: A very niche subset of users of Spotify (ie. the users of the forums), and comparing their data against Spotify's entire userbase which is unfortunately a bias. Never mind the possibility that not all people following this thread will even reliably submit a report. Never mind the fact that this thread is already years old and surely some posters have left, or given up, moved on, and so on.

 

  • Secondly, that figure of 0.00000004% is slightly incorrect anyway. You've calculated 61/1360000000 which does equal 0.00000004, but that figure must be multiplied by 100 to get a percentage of 0.000004%.

 


And we also know there're reports submitted elsewhere and maybe even a lot of people don't even bother, so let's boost that number by a significant amount - let's make it a factor of 100 000. 

 

...

 

That still amounts to 0.004% of errors.

 

  • Thirdly, with figures corrected, 0.000004% x 100,000 = 0.4%.

 

 

Let's dissect these numbers and put them into perspective.

There're roughly 340 million RRs generated each week.


 

0.4% of 340,000,000 = 1,360,000 users that have been affected by this. Or 620,000 paying subscribers according to data from here: https://newsroom.spotify.com/company-info/

 

 

I understand that these are all just rough figures and there's no way to know exactly how many people this affects but those numbers were just incorrect and I felt they unfairly downplay the frequency in which this happens.

Again, it's good to know what the reasons are exactly that could lead to these situations though.

arcadechan
Regular
Thanks for all the amazing breakdown Mihail.

The architecture limitations I completely understand and really shed a lot of light into how these things can't get captured in time (generated 100s of millions of RRs ahead of time for 0 delay come Friday).

Usually my issue lies with the third point you make "I get tracks from artists that are named exactly the same as ones I follow and enjoy, but it turns out the track is unrelated to that artist and they only have the same name."

If in fact these same named artists point to a different artists page, is it safe to hit the button "I don't like X" without it affecting the algorithm, making it think I don't like the artists I follow?

I constantly, almost weekly, see songs with the artist DEVO (I Follow spotify:artist:0UKfenbZb15sqhfPC6zbt3) but when you click DEVO it points to this DEVO spotify:artist:1VodUBUid6WspbE91YTuo6. I guess my question is, if I press "I don't like DEVO" will it know that I am referring to the one I don't follow, DEVO spotify:artist:1VodUBUid6WspbE91YTuo6 ?

Unfortunate that this issue will persist indefinitely, however.

Thanks for the all the help so far.

MadPop
Regular

@rollulus

 

Hey, I was just about to post the same re Darkside. You beat me to it. 

If I go to the artist page of Darkside from my Release Radar it takes me to the artist I’m not following, which also clearly shows. 

149134A8-3CE0-4E28-8078-C3C26A17A379.jpeg


And when I go to the Darkside I am following it clearly shows just that as well. 

B4E5F374-C90D-40F4-8EC3-40E1834249FB.jpeg

rollulus
Regular
Yeah I was super excited to see that they had a new release. I don’t get how this fits into the “wrongly submitted information” story though. The two darksides are distinct artists in the Spotify universe too. Also, to me again this shows that it’s fraudulent on purpose since even the stylized allcaps is copied.

rubs
Regular

Here's a real case of "I get tracks from artists that are named exactly the same as ones..." in some detail. There is an artist called Focus which has nothing to do with the classic Dutch band, but some electronic music group (or individual) instead:

 

Spotify_2021-03-22_09-58-13.png

 

Not bad, in fact (to my taste, at least), but this release is mixed up with the Dutch Focus band. Easy enough -- spotify:artist:0ifzzRKdmtgaHy9cfnnyCR will show this new release:

 

rubs_0-1616418021320.png

On the other hand, if you go to spotify:album:3wdCtc8eL9i4qYB7qeIJYq (the EP above), you'll see the original Focus band in "More from Focus".

 

So this will not be solved ever?

timerickson
Music Fan
Oh, I just noticed the official form to file data now. I'll be using that each week!

DzintarsRerihs
Newbie

Hi!

I already filled out the form, but as there is no field for more details I will repeat myself here. At the moment I have 3 artists that I follow, but there is no other artist page with the same name, so I could not provide that other artist's url.

For this week's release radar: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZEVXbfEHmBzDvyol


Here are artists with songs from another artist. For these artists, it is the first time I notice the wrong stuff.
For artist: Dons: 
https://open.spotify.com/track/04J8xF46APwDUxC5dMTcut?si=7f6fe719e319466c

For artist: Meiko:

https://open.spotify.com/track/1i1Rhs8qA3hiowF4QbHLXW?si=34d9c35f63894b3b

 

Also for artist Gustavo there is a lot of stuff from someone else and it's been theere for a while.
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3apNWJFN6ZANKwNvFK8An7

Iļl be happy to give any other details, but I'm sure that you have a lot of background information on songs, so you could easily determine songs that should go to other artists profile (new one or existing one)

 

MadmanOnWheels
Roadie

Hi, Mihail

 

I guess you didn't look at the dates of these posts.

 

As the original poster pointed out, right after timerickson claimed that the other was a duplicate, this one is actually the duplicate. When you do this, you kinda take credit away from the one that originally posted things.

 

Screenshot_20210214-124742.png

 

Screenshot_20210214-124824.png

 

Follow me

jkeinonen
Gig Goer

Thanks, MadmanOnWheels.

 

I'm happy that important things regarding Release Radar are proceeding, thanks to Mihail. I think it was  timerickson who wrote that my earlier thread is a duplicate and technically that's true, although mine was first. But this one is where we are seeing procession, so a big 💓 to absolutely everyone working on this, either on the demand or the support side.

 

Release Radar's idea is great! Let's keep it useful.

 

 

ishi_the_fishy
Music Fan

This Friday my Release Radar contained 30 songs, and I blocked 11 of them because they are not even close to the kind of artists I follow and several of them are using the names of several legitimate artists I follow. BTW, I've tried blocking artists in Windows 10 using the the red circle with the line through it and select that I don't like the artist. It doesn't work because they just reappear in the following week's Release Radar.  A Spotify moderator has asked for the URIs for some of these fake artists, because it’s apparently too much trouble for the developer to figure out a catalog system and the developers and mods lazy and expect us to do all the work for them. They know exactly what’s going on and are now putting the burden on the paying customer.  But okay, here are two examples. 

 

1) I follow the “real” rock band The Cult (spotify:artist:49DW3KvkyjHO35mK1JnSyS), but I get this fake-The Cult rap garbage in my Release Radar (spotify:album:4jjYHMRl4kEuerq4Pwb2J5)

 

2) I follow the “real” classic rock band Boston (spotify:artist:29kkCKKGXheHuoO829FxWK), but I get this fake-Boston rap garbage in my Release Radar (spotify:artist:3fpgXf1uFtltFybeqiqQB9)

 

As far as the other garbage on my Release Radar, none of the following artists have “Fans also like…” artists listed that I recognize. Many of them are in a genre not even close to anything I listen to and several of them are in a language I don’t understand.  I listen to a lot of US and UK punk bands from the 70s and 80, so why am I getting music from these people?

 

  • Christian faith music from this guy (spotify:artist:7apN8bBgl19E0Ona9pvPq0),
  • French crooner music from this guy (spotify:artist:6y1aZyP40077De3neGJD2b) and this guy (spotify:artist:6NB0vY1HQgkUpCBsm5eAvo)
  • Spanish stuff from this guy (spotify:artist:4hsO4OgoQ1Wz2K0vyqEIpf)
  • Hip-hop **bleep** from this guy with only one album just release Feb. 2, 2021, a total of 279 listeners, a single sentence bio and zero “Fans also Like…”(spotify:artist:7vXpsqnUsqMWdcnWY4Lzqc).

Anyone know another music streaming service that they’ve tried and seems good? I’m now looking to switch from Spotify, taking my Duo Premium plan and moving my parents’ off theirs.  I’m done.

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