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Spotify’s astrology-like Daylists went popular, but its micro-genre inventor was fired last month.

Is it “fearful vocaloid Wednesday morning,” “yearning cottagecore Thursday afternoon,” or “heartbroken karaoke Friday evening”? The Spotify Daylist, an algorithmically created playlist based on your listening habits, changes many times a day. It may not be a “teen angsty Monday morning,” but Spotify understands. Why do you usually listen to “The Black Parade” on Mondays?

The rapid increase in Spotify Daylist posts makes it seem like the service recently started; however, it launched in September. However, Spotify’s daylists (and their hilariously strange titles) have gone viral this week owing to an Instagram “Add Yours” story template that reads, “Don’t tell me your astrology sign; I want you to go into Spotify, search for your daylist, and post the title it gave you.”

Amanita, a Los Angeles resident with 1,000 followers, created the question. However, enough individuals reposted the template to reach 100,000 shares.

Spotify informed Eltrys that “daylist” searches had increased roughly 20,000%.

While it may not be intriguing to hear that an Instagram follower from your high school is enjoying a “wild west cowboy night,” the prompt may be. The Instagram design portrays Daylists as a new, more specialized kind of astrology, which is fitting since both are appealing. They teach us about ourselves and provide us with a way to introduce ourselves. As a Leo, you don’t want attention. You listen to adolescent angst, not emo.

Spotify should profit from something that resembles astrology or other spiritual meaning-making. Astrology has grown in popularity among Gen Z and millennials over the past decade. An Allied Market Research analysis from 2021 estimates the astrology sector will be valued at $12.8 billion and $22.8 billion by 2031. In 2019, Sensor Tower, a mobile app intelligence business, discovered that the top 10 astrology and zodiac applications surged 64% to generate over $40 million. Astrology’s popularity at a time when U.S. youth are less religious is likely not a coincidence. People will ask huge questions about life elsewhere if they aren’t at church or synagogue, like on social astrology apps like Co-Star or a Spotify algorithm.

Spotify Wrapped and Daylists capitalize on this tendency with hyper-personalized, algorithmic features. Spotify has added more divination-inspired features because users are using them to find themselves, not new music. Spotify Wrapped has made horoscope playlists, given us Tarot cards to reflect our year, and even recruited celebrity aura reader Mystic Michaela to make color aura readings based on a user’s genre preference. Spotify’s aura photography activity at VidCon in 2022 was likely to wow and create partnerships with video providers.

Spotify gets all these hyper-specific genres and moods from where? Many social media users have observed that the creator of these hyper-specific genres and moods deserves a raise. However, these viral daylists have a frustrating twist.

Glenn McDonald, curator of EveryNoise, classed so much of Spotify’s collection into “chill phonk,” “samurai trap,” and “post-minimalism.” Ten years ago, Spotify paid over $100 million for The Echo Nest, where McDonald was working on EveryNoise. McDonald has been a “data alchemist” at Spotify since then, where his massive musical databases have driven many cherished features based on his genre-mapping work (Spotify says Daylists sprang from a Hack Week initiative).

Because we must constantly remember that companies care about their bottom line, Spotify let off 17% of its personnel in December, including McDonald. Even though EveryNoise’s community protested, McDonald no longer has access to internal Spotify tools; therefore, several Spotify features no longer operate. The Sound of Everything playlist, which includes one song from each of Spotify’s approximately 6,000 genres, still connects to EveryNoise.

Spotify’s detailed music categorization occasionally makes jokes absurd—what is “egg punk”? However, this amusing taxonomy was created with music in mind. Spotify’s business leadership repeatedly shows that it doesn’t love music or podcasts. Despite harsh corporate realities, it’s interesting to check our daylists every few hours to see how our music listening and moods change. The music we need most may be “Officecore Ennui Friday.”

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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