Music streaming service Spotify today is launching Release Radar, a new free playlist that’s updated every Friday with recently released music that’s relevant to you. You’ll find it under the New Releases For You heading in the app’s Discover section.
In the past year, people have raved about Discover Weekly, a playlist that’s refreshed each Monday with songs that Spotify thinks you might like. So it makes sense that Spotify is coming out with another option for algorithmically selected music that requires no more effort than hitting the play button.
Release Radar is sort of like your music junkie friend who lets you know what new albums you need to listen to right now. You don’t have to worry about frequenting the music blogs or even Spotify’s New Releases section.
After listening to the playlist over the past few days, I’m impressed. The musicians in Release Radar aren’t usually new to me — instead, the experience is a little nostalgic, as Spotify catches me up on new work from the artists I’ve been into at some point in the past. And I feel a little more in touch. That’s great, because I don’t usually have time to follow news out of the music world. I just like to listen and get exposed to new things. Release Radar helps with that.
Spotify does have a variety of playlists curated by enthusiasts. And clearly, users appreciate them. But today, the company is doubling down on personalization at scale, making fresh recommendations for every single user, every seven days. While Apple chases exclusive content deals and offers radio from high-profile DJs in Apple Music, Spotify is going in a slightly different direction.
And it seems to be resonating. SoundCloud recently introduced Suggested Tracks. Those recommendations come with specific explanations, such as: “Because you played The Foreign Desk – Is diplomacy in crisis?” Release Radar does nothing like that — it just gives you up to two hours’ worth of songs that are chosen automatically, but not randomly.
Songs come from “artists you follow and listen to the most, sprinkled in with some new discoveries based on your recent listening habits,” Spotify said in a blog post on the news.
Spotify now has more than 100 million monthly active users, and 30 million of them are paying for the service.