Spotify spotted developing AI-generated playlists created with prompts


Image Credits: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto / Getty Images

Following the successful launch of Spotify’s AI-powered DJ feature and, more recently, added support for AI-translated podcasts, Spotify now appears to be developing another means of using AI in its app: AI-powered playlists. References discovered in the app’s code indicate the company may be developing generative AI playlists users could create using prompts.

The additions were uncovered by tech veteran-turned-investor Chris Messina, who posted screenshots of code in Spotify’s app that refer to “AI playlists” and “playlists based on your prompts.” He theorized that creating these may be an option within the Blend genre, where the tastes of different users are mixed to create a playlist with songs that everyone likes.


Image Credits: Spotify code via Chris Messina

Reached for comment, Spotify declined to confirm its plans around AI playlists.

“At Spotify, we are constantly iterating and ideating to improve our product offering and offer value to users. But we don’t comment on speculation around possible new features and do not have anything new to share at this time,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

That said, Spotify may have already been laying the groundwork for AI playlists created with prompts when it developed a feature called Niche mixes, which today allows users to build unique playlists based on a description alone. These Niche mixes currently let you specify almost anything to create a playlist — from a genre to a vibe or an aesthetic, like Cottagecore Indie Mix, Bubblegum Pop Mix, Discofox Mix, Feel Good Driving Mix, Fun Road Trip Mix, Travel Mashup Mix and others.

However, Spotify told us when the Niche Mixes were launched back in March that they were not AI-powered, despite their initial appearance. Instead, Spotify said the mixes were driven by the company’s personalization tech and algorithms.


Image Credits: Spotify code via Chris Messina

Messina tells TechCrunch his new findings indicate the new AI playlists would be built using prompts, as well, but he hasn’t yet uncovered the feature in the public app, only in the code.

He suspects the feature may be tied to Blend because there are also code references that indicate users could invite others to create AI playlists together.


Image Credits: Spotify code via Chris Messina

All the lines of code were discovered in the latest build of the Spotify app, so this is clearly a new, in-development feature.

Of course, not all features that a company builds internally to test make it to the public, but it is an indication of how Spotify is thinking about the role AI could play when it comes to music personalization.

The company had suggested previously that features like the AI DJ wouldn’t be the limit to Spotify’s adoption of AI technologies. There’s a team at Spotify that’s working on the latest language models, Spotify’s head of Personalization, Ziad Sultan, told us in a conversation at the company’s event earlier this year. In fact, Spotify has a few hundred people working on personalization and machine learning techniques, including a large research team that’s working to understand “all the possibilities across Large Language Models, across generative voice, across personalization,” he had said.

Around the same time, TechCrunch also heard that Spotify had been toying with a ChatGPT-like chatbot that would allow users to request music, but nothing was settled in terms of a public launch on that front.

Update, 10/3/23, 10:47 AM ET: Following publication, reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi published screenshots of the AI playlists feature in the Spotify app. The images indicate the playlist would be another option in addition to Blend and traditional playlists and would be available in English only.

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