With 15 million songs at my fingertips, all of a sudden I can’t think of what to play. Nothing in the “What’s New” category is interesting, my usually fresh list of “new” bands is exhausted, and I hate connecting anything to Facebook so I’m friendless on Spotify itself…what to do, what to do?
This is the next big opportunity in music: curation. What Google did for web pages is great, but music, like movies or any other entertainment/art form, is a matter of taste. And taste can’t be indexed the same way. It’s the reason Netflix spends so much money figuring out its recommendation algorithm (which still sucks, by the way). There are so many entry points for discovery: spontaneous inspiration (a la Shazam), recommendations from trusted sources (friends or influencers), auto-generation (Pandora or iTunes Genius), tagging, etc etc etc. It’s overwhelming and worse than that, it freezes you. There are too many sources spread over too many platforms (SoundCloud, Hype Machine, Rdio, Spotfiy, iTunes, and the list goes on). Someone should solve this, and I have no idea what the answer is, but there is an enormous opportunity. Spotify is probably the best utility to support this, but it needs a layer of curation (or a network, or something) in order to unlock its true potential. Until then, I’ll remain stuck with my cursor blinking, probably end up just listening to The Black Keys for the millionth time…not that I’m complaining.
P.S. I think sites like ShareMyPlaylists are on the right track. Getting there, at least.