Saturday, September 23, 2023

Spotify ‘blend’ your playlists with K-pop stars

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Shreya Christina
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After the introduction of his Mix playlists last year, Spotify announced on Friday that it was expanding the feature to including K-pop artists — and yes, that includes the mega-popular boy band BTS.

Spotify’s Blend Playlists are an easy way for users to create shared playlists based on each user’s listening preferences. In March, the company released updates for the music discovery feature, which includes the ability to “mix” with up to 10 people or with musical performers. This new K-pop expansion is an example of that.

The artists of K-pop Blend include BTS, Stray Kids, ENHYPEN, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, Nmixx and AB6IX. The feature will mix your favorite songs with those of the aforementioned bands. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Spotify feature if it didn’t include data either. After you’ve mixed playlists, you can receive a ‘sharing card’ with ‘flavor-match’ scores indicating which songs you have in common. The cards can then be shared on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter.

Part of the reason K-pop has become a global phenomenon in recent years is the fact that the bands are incredibly active online. Idols are encouraged to interact with fans on various social media platforms, which in turn encourages parasocial relationships with fans. Spotify’s Blend feature fits into that dynamic nicely, as it creates the feeling that you know something about a particular group or idol.

Whether the playlists Spotify generates are accurate is another matter entirely. My BTS Blend playlist seems to suggest BTS and I’d like to listen to a lot of Post Malone… and it’s going well.

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