[Opinion] Spotify Editorials Have Become The Worst Place For New Music Discovery On The Internet
Yes, you read that title right. That doesn’t and shouldn’t make sense, does it? Why does the leading digital streaming platform in all of music have the worst curated playlists? We used to love Spotify Editorials when they 1st starting gaining major popularity in and around 2015 & 2016. Friday Cratediggers, Dance Rising, New Dance Revolution, Power Hour, I loved them all. But over the past couple of years, especially in 2020, those playlists slowly turned from a nicely curated selection of tracks into a forced ear on what seems to be tracks Spotify wants me to listen to. What do I mean? Take a peek below.
Why is this Anabel Englund track on the top of Friday Cratediggers & New Dance Revolution? Not to mention the same cover? Listen, I have absolutely no issue against Anabel Enguld or her music, it’s quite good, but she is forced into almost every Spotify Dance editorial. Her track ‘Float’ came out today and is in over 30 editorials. Is this track the biggest EDM tune of 2020? No, it’s a pop/deep house track that shouldn’t be placed in the top 20 of 1/2 the dance playlists. I mean, David Guetta himself released a cover track of ‘Dreams’ last week, one of the biggest tracks of 2020, and it didn’t make this many editorials. Why?
The second issue that Spotify seems to be having this year is confusion on genres. Why is there an Alison Wonderland & Valentino Khan track the headline track of Shuffle Syndrome, a previously Future House heavy/themed playlist? Why is there a Hollophonic’s piano house/dance-pop track on the top of Power Hour, a gym list to get ‘your beast mode on’? That doesn’t seem to fit the category.. Does anyone remember when Dance Rising & New Dance Revolution used to be filled with up & coming artists you could discover? You know, like the artists with maybe 25-30 thousand monthly listeners at max? Look at them today, just loaded with the rising future stars of dance!
Honest question. How is a new artist, label, band, singer supposed to break out on Spotify if none of their tracks ever get added to any type of Spotify Editorial? With well over 80% of almost all streams from big-name EDM artists coming from Spotify Editorials, it shows that these are clearly where people are going to “discover” new music. I mean hell, take a look at the “genres” you’re allowed to submit under for dance music at Spotify. They don’t have bass house, piano house, progressive trance, funky house, or melodic techno, but they have Ballroom/Vogue, Gqom, Philly Club, Miami Jook & Footwork. Like, wtf?
All in all, if you want to discover new dance music, you are going to have to do the digging yourself. I still love the Spotify algo playlists like the Release Radar & Discover Weekly, but if you want to really find the non-mainstream, off the beaten path dance music, you’ll need Reddit, blogs, Beatport charts, etc. Hopefully, in 2021, Spotify gets a bit better with this and maybe uses some more algorithm in the editorial process as the current system now is as broken as it’s ever been.