Apple Music Continues to Use Innovative Features to Enhance Competitiveness Against Spotify

A 2023 report showed that Apple Music added a new feature, Discovery Station, to help users discover new music on the app. This was set to increase its competition against Spotify, which uses the Discover Weekly option to curate playlists of unheard songs based on listeners’ tastes and preferences.

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Source: Unsplash


The Magic of Online Platforms

User information continues to be essential in the online entertainment industry, and the rise of online platforms makes it possible for entertainment companies to understand their customers better. Users interacting with these platforms will exhibit different behaviors, tastes, preferences, etc. For example, in slot gaming, where there are lots of games with varying themes, players who prefer fruit-themed slots might be drawn to titles like Fruity Burst. Such information is important as it can help creators identify new and existing trends, allowing them to create and deliver content that better resonates with their target audience.

Spotify, for example, through its Discover Weekly, combines collaborative filtering and machine learning algorithms to analyze your listening history, comparing it with other users with similar tastes. It then identifies tracks you haven’t listened to but are popular among users with comparable preferences and curates them into a weekly playlist.

The algorithm considers factors like genre diversity, allowing for a varied listening experience. User interactions such as skipping tracks or saving songs provide feedback, refining future recommendations to suit your unique musical tastes better.

Apple Music’s Discover Station

Apple Music’s Discover Station adds personalized new songs that the user has not yet listened to using the app. By combining information from previous listening habits, the station identifies and recommends songs that might appeal to users, enhancing the listener’s experience. Though Apple Music already has the New Music Feature, where listeners can find new music, the playlist is often limited to 25 tracks. As listeners can thumbs up or thumbs down songs, Discover Station can fine-tune its recommendations to fit users’ preferences even more. 

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Source: Unsplash

Listeners can find the Discovery Station under the Listen Now tab in the Stations for You section on the Apple Music app on iOS and Mac. Reports of the station came at a time when Spotify was beginning to expand its AI-powered DJ feature globally. Spotify has been mostly known as a ‘music researcher’ of its customers as it can discover music that listeners missed and recommend it. The AI-powered DJ is an addition to Spotify’s strength as it acts as a personalized guide that knows a user so well that it can choose what to play for them.

It was first launched in the US and Canada in February 2023 and later in the UK and Ireland after three months. The feature was prioritized for premium subscribers and has continued to draw multitudes across different markets. In July 2023, the company witnessed a 27% surge in active users to over 550 million.

Final Thoughts

Through a combination of technological innovation and user-centric design, Apple Music continues to set itself apart in a fiercely competitive streaming landscape. By adding the Discover Station feature, Apple Music is expected to remain a formidable rival to Spotify and other competitors, ensuring its relevance in the ever-evolving digital music landscape.

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