Spotify has recently unveiled a new music option as part of its premium service: The Spotify AI DJ. This AI system explores your music listening history and uses it to generate a bespoke radio station, complete with a radio DJ voice. It will sometimes hit you with classics from your listening history, and sometimes throw some new songs it thinks you might like.
So is the Spotify AI DJ worth trying out? Is it worth springing for a Spotify Premium subscription?
In this article, I’ll explain how it all works, and what my (and others’) impressions of the Spotify AI DJ are.
What is the Spotify AI DJ, Anyway?
Imagine a world where your music playlist not only understands your mood and preferences but also evolves with them. Enter Spotify’s AI DJ, the latest innovation in personalized music curation.
This feature is not just a tool; it’s a journey into the future of music listening, where artificial intelligence meets human taste.
Tailored Tunes: How Spotify’s AI DJ Enhances Your Listening Experience
Spotify’s AI DJ is a musical companion, helping guide you through the massive catalog of music controlled by Spotify. Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and music curation, this AI guide analyzes your listening habits, preferences, and even the time of day to craft a playlist that feels both fresh and familiar.
It’s a blend of Spotify’s personalization technology, the insight of its music editors, and generative AI.
At the moment, it is an interesting way to find something to listen to when you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, but not a truly groundbreaking system… yet.
Getting Started: Accessing the Spotify AI DJ
To use the AI DJ, you’ll need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber and ensure your app is updated to the latest version. Currently, the feature is rolling out in select markets across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
Once available, simply tap the banner to start and start listening to music.
If you’re on mobile, tap the “Music” button on the top row of options, and then select the AI DJ logo to get things fired off.
The DJ will briefly chat and then make its first selection of music picks.
To jump to a new selection of songs, use the DJ icon at the bottom-right of the screen. This will allow you to navigate through different music moods.
Be sure your Spotify is updated to the latest version in order to access the AI DJ. I had to update my app in order to use it, so many people will likely be in similar circumstances.
A Curated Musical Journey: What Sets the Spotify AI DJ Apart?
The AI DJ doesn’t just play music. It offers a curated lineup complete with some basic commentary about the tracks and artists. The more you listen, the more it adapts, striking a perfect balance between your beloved favorites and new discoveries.
It’s a dynamic feature that continuously refines its recommendations based on your history, preferences, and global music trends.
Typically every four songs, the DJ will jump in and chat a bit, before introducing the next artist and batch of songs.
Voice of the DJ: The Current State and Future Possibilities
The voice behind the first model of this AI DJ feature is Xavier “X” Jernigan, known for his role in Spotify’s “The Get Up.” While you can’t customize the voice yet, Spotify hints at potential future developments, including different DJs or voice models.
The quality of the AI voice is excellent, it really does sound like a (slightly cheesy) FM Radio DJ. However, the content provided by the AI DJ is pretty basic: usually it has a couple of sentences of background on why it picked this upcoming set of songs, and then it plays the first song.
It is easy to imagine improvements giving background on when the band it’s about to play will be performing in your location next, who has joined or left the band recently, or when the next single is going to drop.
These AI DJ audio bits are often engaging, and will eventually become a pretty powerful tool.
Spotify AI DJ Review: My Personal Experience
Over the last week, I have used the AI DJ several times, and found it to be a useful tool. It’s great for when I’m not sure what I’m in the mood to listen to, as it just throws out ideas, along with ocassional interesting commentary.
I am the type of person who listens to a wide variety of musical styles, and the AI DJ seems to handle that pretty well. It will jump from ambient electronic to Gypsy jazz to Jamaican dub without making things confusing or totally destroying the flow.
However, my personal Spotify account is our “family” account — meaning it’s tied into our main house speakers in the family room. Consequently, my kids will often listen to their music on my account, leading to the DJ playing songs that they like, or that they were listening to last year.
This is a problem with any system that uses a shared history, but I wanted to note it as part of the review.
The AI DJ is certainly worth trying if you already have Spotify Premium, but it’s not a tool that makes Premium worth paying for alone.
Perhaps in the future it will become a must-have tool. But for now, it’s a cool little extra.
User Perspectives: The Verdict on Spotify’s AI DJ
Broad Internet opinions (i.e. Reddit and Twitter) of Spotify’s AI DJ are as varied as the playlists it creates. Many appreciate its convenience and its knack for surprising them with new songs, enhancing their Spotify experience.
However, some users have expressed desires for improvement, particularly in song categorization, transitions, and a broader range of new music recommendations. The voice, while smooth, has received mixed reactions, described by some as slightly eerie.
Looking Ahead: The Continuous Evolution of Spotify’s AI DJ
While the AI DJ is a step into the future of music listening, it’s clear that Spotify envisions continuous evolution. Users hope for more personalization, diverse song selections, and perhaps, customizable voices.
Having a multitude of DJs with different vibes (e.g. the classical DJ vs. the hip hop DJ) would really help improve the immersiveness of the system. And as mentioned above, if more relavent background information could be supplied by the DJ, that would make it a much more interesting experience.
The Spotify AI DJ stands not just as a tool, but as a promise of a more immersive, responsive, and engaging music listening experience. If you’ve already got a premium subscription and you’re in an area that is covered by the DJ, it’s certainly worth playing around with.
But no need to drop everything and sign up for Spotify Premium just for the AI DJ!