/I miss when Spotify was good 
Example of Spotify's "daylist" feature.

I miss when Spotify was good 

By Cady Inabinett, Editor in chief 

Is it just me, or is Spotify getting worse? 

It seems like every other week the music streaming platform is trying to drop some new gimmick to entice people into using it instead of alternative music streaming platforms. The most recent one that seems to be blowing up the internet currently is it’s “daylist” feature—a personalized, custom playlist that changes throughout the day to match curated moods that Spotify invents based on your listening habits.  

I’ve been a Spotify user since 2017, and I’ve seen the platform change a lot over the past seven years—for better and for worse. For instance, I remember when Spotify first added their “Daily Mix” feature, a set of six different playlists that seek to curate the songs and artists you listen to into groups of similar genres and moods. 

To me, the Daily Mix was enough of an upgrade. I liked the products that Spotify was offering me with its addition. I had my Discover Weekly playlist, which I used to listen to religiously as a way to find new music. I had the ability to search and listen to a seemingly infinite number of artists and albums, which was certainly enough to keep me busy. On top of all of that, I could make my own curated playlists and find other users’ playlists to listen to as well. And, when all of that failed to pique my interest, I could now use the Daily Mix as a way to jolt myself out of any music-listening ruts I might be in. It was enough features for me. 

But it wasn’t enough features for Spotify, as more and more personalized features have seemed to spring up. Now, scrolling through the home page, I’m recommended an overwhelming number of playlists and options—from the aforementioned Daily Mixes and Discover Weekly to Spotify-generated mixes based off of a particular genre, artist or decade to the daylist to their AI powered personal DJ—and that’s not even naming everything. The average Spotify user is now spoiled with choice.  

So, why am I so bored with Spotify now? 

Maybe it’s because with each new feature that the platform adds, ironically despite its efforts to be more personalized and engaging, it feels like it loses touch with me as a listener even more. 

In preparing to write this article, I sought to research changes in Spotify’s algorithm in the past few years to explain my experience. However, Google searches such as “Spotify algorithm changes” and “Spotify algorithm bad now,” yielded few informative results other than Spotify users complaining about recent changes online. So, rather than pointing to empirical evidence as to why Spotify is going down the drain, we will have to rely on my anecdotal experiences. 

I first began to notice this issue with Discover Weekly about a year ago. I used to listen to my Discover Weekly playlist each week as my primary way to discover new music, and over the past several years I can say I’ve discovered some artists, albums and songs through my Discover Weekly playlist that I have grown to love. 

However, about a year ago, it seemed as though my Discover Weekly was suddenly bad. I used to like ten or more songs from the 30-song playlist, now it’s down to two or three songs. Maybe, this just means I have become more discerning as a listener, pickier about what songs I like. But, there’s another issue with Discover Weekly: it just doesn’t seem to be exciting anymore. Previously, the music featured on the playlist was fresh and new—similar to songs I already listened to and liked, yes, but still different enough to make listening to it exciting. Today, while writing this article, I opened my Discover Weekly to see what was on it and 25 of the songs were by artists I have listened to before, but releases I hadn’t gotten around to or maybe didn’t want to listen to. So much for finding new things. 

My gripes don’t end with Discover Weekly, either: I, personally, hate the daylist. It bugs me to no end, actually. I hate almost everything about it. I think it’s so derivative and silly to try and create a well-curated playlist from an alphabet soup of generic categories and internet-generated aesthetics. As I’m writing this piece, my daylist is entitled, “angst twee monday afternoon.” This is a more informative and coherent title than many daylists get, look at any conversation of the daylist online to see more examples of this, but when I scroll down to look at the featured songs, none of them seem to fit. How is “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” by Fionna Apple either angsty or twee? How about Japanese Breakfast’s indie rock banger “Everybody Wants to Love You?” 

I guess, if I were to sum up my issues with Spotify as of late, it’s that in attempts to become more personalized, the platform has spread itself too thin. There is simply just too many features for any of them to be interesting anymore. All of the personalized playlists have become white noise instead. 

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Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.