Spotify’s popular playlist creation tool, Blend, is getting its biggest update since its offiical launch last year. The feature currently allows two Spotify users to see where their musical tastes overlap by mixing together their favorite songs to find those they have in common. This Blend then updates daily with new songs based on everyone’s listening habits. Today, Spotify says it will expand Blend to allow users to create playlists with up to 10 people, or even with some of their favorite artists.
The company has partnered with artists including BTS, Charli XCX, Kacey Musgraves, Lauv, Megan Thee Stallion, Mimi Webb, Tai Verdes, Xamã, and others, to allow Spotify users to merge their musical tastes into a single Blend playlist where their own favorite tracks are matched with those from the artists. As with other Blend playlists, users will receive a card that displays your “taste match” score — a score that’s calculated based on how similar or different your listening preferences are when compared with the other Blend contributors.
These cards are designed to be shared directly to social media sites, like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter.
In addition to working with artists, Spotify has updated Blend to allow groups of family members or friends to create their own shared playlists. Spotify Family subscribers already had access to an auto-updated Family Mix playlist composed of tracks everyone in the family agreed upon, based on similar technology. But the feature was limited to those on Spotify’s Family plans — not to individual subscribers. Spotify also offers another Blend-like playlist called the Duo Mix, but this, too, is limited to users on the same shared plan.
The streamer’s personalized playlists are a big selling tool for its service, and one of the reasons why Spotify continues to lead the music streaming market despite not having the built-in advantage of rival music services — like Apple Music or Google’s YouTube Music, whose music apps ship with the tech giants’ own smartphones and mobile software. According to a report from entertainment research firm MIDiA earlier this year, Spotify now has a 31% global market share in the music subscription market, ahead of Apple Music (15%), Amazon Music (13%), and others with smaller slices of the pie. This, in part, can be traced to Spotify’s heavy use of personalization features that help to engage users with the music, and now podcasts, that they like. Spotify also ships new features and playlists at a fairly steady pace, demonstrating to users and competitors alike that it’s further ahead when it comes to putting its personalization technology to use.
Spotify has used Blend’s matching technology in other ways ahead of this expansion. This past December, the company launched a Blend-powered feature for its personalized year-end retrospective, Spotify Wrapped. With “Wrapped Blend,” as the feature was called, users could compare their own Wrapped with those belonging to friends.
The updated version of Blend will roll out to Spotify users starting today.