Gina Mei
July 21, 2015 5:00 am

On Monday, Spotify launched its “Discover Weekly” feature: A curated playlist that auto-updates every Monday with a new selection of tunes tailored specifically to your music tastes. Based on Spotify’s music algorithms and user data, the feature offers up two hours of “new discoveries and deep cuts, chosen just for you” — and, the more you listen, the better it’s able to detect what you enjoy.

“We wanted to make something that felt like your best friend making you a mixtape, labeled ‘music you should check out,’ every single week,” product manager Matthew Ogle told The Guardian. “Some weeks, your recent listening will nudge it in new directions, and in other weeks, Discover Weekly might be the one doing the nudging.”

I was curious to see what Spotify would whip up for me, given the fact that I’ve had Franki Valli & The Four Seasons’ “Big Girls Don’t Cry” stuck in my head for the past week, and felt it might skew my potential playlist preferences. But I was pleasantly surprised. My first “Discover Weekly” was a nice mix of catchy and emotional (my musical M.O.), and I enjoyed it very much — even if it was a little more transient than my normal fare. (I also learned that Spotify can tell the difference between my “guilty pleasure” music and my regular listening preferences, which was pretty scary.)

With Apple’s entrance into the streaming sphere less than a month ago, Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” is both a practical and a competitive move. It’s no longer enough just to have an immense music library: Having easy, accessible ways for users to discover new music has become almost as important. Apple Music has “For You,” Tidal has “Discovery,” and Google Play has curated radio stations. “Discover Weekly” is Spotify’s attempt to raise the stakes and make music recommendations as personalized as possible.

“Discover Weekly will evolve along with you over time, to get into the nooks and crannies of what you listen to,” Ogle told The Wall Street Journal. “There will be a fair amount of variation and we might go looking back deep into your library so you’re not stuck with the same type of playlist each week.”

Ogle goes on to say that while the playlists are based on algorithms, “they’re directly inspired by the way users listen to music” — and, therefore, just as intimate as a good old-fashioned mixtape.

It isn’t the first time that Spotify has experimented with curated playlists, either. Last December, the streaming service introduced “Year in Music 2014,” a feature that allowed users to take an intimate look into their listening habits for the year. The feature included an option to create a playlist of recommended tunes based on your 2014 Top 100, called “Play It Forward” — the results of which were similarly spot-on.

So far, the one obvious catch to “Discover Weekly” is that, since the playlist auto-updates, you have to manually save any songs you enjoy — but that’s a small price to pay for customized greatness. At the very least, a new playlist waiting for you every Monday is a pretty nice way to start the week, and we can use all the help we can get on Mondays.

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(Image via Shutterstock.)

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