In its latest attempt to showcase its smart music-discovery algorithms, Spotify has launched a new web app designed to help friends unearth common grounds in their musical tastes.
With Mix Mates, Spotify says it’s targeting university students, presumably because term time normally begins around September, and music is often used to help people form new friendships in their inaugural year. However, anyone can use this tool.
To use Mix Mates, you enter both you and a friend’s favorite band, and Spotify generates a playlist which “shows the musical degree of separation” between the two artists.
The number of tracks in the playlist mirror how many degrees of separate there are between the two artists (and thus between two friends), and it includes a song from each artist in the chain.
Today’s launch comes a few weeks after the music-streaming giant launched a new app to show which artists you listened to before they made it big, except with Mix Mates you’re not required to link up with your Spotify account. You can listen to song samples and share playlists sans log-in, however to save the playlists for posterity you will need Spotify credentials.
While it could be construed as little more than a fun experiment, Mix Mates represents part of Spotify’s bigger vision to help its users unearth new music based on their existing tastes. Back in July, Spotify introduced a weekly playlist of recommended music based on listening habits, and this has generally been met with positive feedback from users.
Spotify’s growing music-recommendation initiatives are powered by the Echo Nest, a music-intelligence and data company it acquired last year.