Music streaming services are a dime a dozen these days, in the US at least; they're still rare in most of the world. But for all numbers, there's not much diversity. Nothing really separates Spotify, Rdio and Mog, apart from better marketing.
And, while on-demand access to millions of tracks is great, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
With millions of tracks to choose from, picking what to listen to is hard. This is where discovery comes in. All of these services have some form of discovery, algorithm-based recommendations, but none of them is great.
Algorithms are great, but they rely on scale, which means all you'll "discover" is music that plenty of other people already listen to. This is why human curation is still the best way to find new music.
is Spotify is getting ready to launch a new follower model, more inspired by Twitter. You can already follow people on Spotify, but the model is more akin to Facebook's, for friends only.
With the new follower model, you'll be able to discover curated playlists put together by music experts, bands and so on. Nothing has been confirmed yet, Spotify has a December 6 event to introduce this new discovery method.
It's certainly a big step forward, but it still seems like a limited model. The problem is that it still involves a lot of manual work. People want curated recommendations, but few will actually step up and create them, let alone create interesting ones.
There are still details missing, so maybe there is an automated part as well, i.e. recommendations based on what your followers listen to the most, what new tracks they've been playing over and over.
Also at the December event, Spotify plans to finally unveil a web-based player
, something that a lot of people have been requesting for ages.