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This article was published on June 2, 2021

Spotify’s new Only You feature will tell you that you’re special, but you’re probably not

It's still a fun analysis of your streaming

Spotify’s new Only You feature will tell you that you’re special, but you’re probably not
Thomas Macaulay
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Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC. Writer at Neural by TNW — Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC.

If you ever feel like a boring normie, Spotify wants to let you know that at least your taste in music is special.

The streaming giant today launched Only You, a new feature that generates personalized playlists and pays you fawning compliments for your “unique” listening habits.

The experience is similar to Spotify Wrapped, with a visual breakdown of your streaming patterns, a Stories-like interface, and new insights about your tastes.

You can find a “unique audio pairing” of tracks you play back-to-back, songs you listen to at certain times of the day, and the years of musical history that you frequently stream.

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Another highlight lets you choose three artists you’d invite to your dream dinner party. Spotify will then create a personalized playlist for each of them.

There’s also an “audio birth chart” that shows the artist you’ve listened to most over the past six months, a musician you’ve recently discovered, and one that “best shows your emotional or vulnerable side.”

The feature has a shareable format that could prove a hit on social media. It also provides another way for Spotify to signal that its algorithms promote diverse listening, rather than homogenize popular music. But Only You’s evidence for your individuality is questionable at best.

I wouldn’t consider playing Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) “My Unique Moment,” for instance. I imagine it’s one that’s been shared by many people who are justifiably despairing about the state of the world.

There’s also an irony in habits that are so often guided by algorithms being complimented as uniqueIn a sense, by praising you, Spotify is also commending itself.

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