Spotify’s latest curated playlist is tailored to your pet.June 8, 2020
“Spotify has been keen on adding new playlist options for its massive user base for a while now. Whether it’s Discover Weekly, Release Radar, Your Daily Drive or others, the service is constantly introducing new ways to keep you listening — even when you don’t have anything specific in mind. From time to time, the company takes a more experimental approach to its algorithmic playlist building, creating a collection based on quiz answers, like it did with Soundtrack Your Ride for roadtrips. Now Spotify is giving you a tool that makes a playlist customized to the real star of your life: your pet.
With Pet Playlists, Spotify’s algorithm compiles a selection of 30 songs based on your answers to a few questions about your pet. Of course, your own listening habits are factored in too. If your cat is high-energy, you should get more energetic and upbeat tunes. If your dog sleeps all the time like my cocker spaniel, you’ll likely get music that’s a little more mellow. You begin by selecting your type of pet and then use a series of sliders to dial in specifics about their personality. Upload a photo and add their name before the magic begins behind the scenes.
The company says it worked with musicologist David Teie, a cellist who plays with American’s National Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded two albums worth of music for cats along with other species-specific music. Teie lent his expertise on the preferences for each animal — bird, cat, dog, hamster and iguana. Dogs, for example, don’t like “music in the lower register” as it could be heard as a threat. Spotify says Teie’s knowledge was used to program the algorithm, but each playlist is still generated without a human touch.
The results are… interesting. They’re also exactly what you might expect: a mix of your recent activity. My dog is relaxed, shy and apathetic, but the generated playlist still had upbeat tunes like M83’s “Midnight City” and Denzel Curry’s “ZUU.” I got better results each time I tried the feature, so it’s possible I got a hold of it while Spotify was still working out the kinks. Even if Pet Playlists don’t really give you anything novel in terms of how they make a playlist for you, at least they’ll provide a welcome distraction during the work day.”