Data Driven (Music) Discovery

Earlier this month, in my latest piece for The New Yorker, I wrote about Apple’s growing challenges with services were centered on its inability to grok the reality that today, data and algorithms are key part of the user experience. As an example, I cited the growing popularity and effectiveness of Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature.

Today, Spotify shared some numbers that showcase how tiny bits of data and evolving alogrithms can lead to rapid adoption, deep engagement and a satisfying user experience. Discover Weekly, is forbearer of what’s to come. Data will help define the experience in a deeper, more personal way, especially as we start to experience technology through non-obvious user interfaces – from new generation of chatbots to voice-based interactions.

Spotify on its blog notes:

  • Discover Weekly has 40 million listeners and nearly five billion tracks have been streamed since it was launched in July 2015.
  • More than half of all Discover Weekly listeners come back the following week.
  • More than half of all Discover Weekly listeners stream at least 10 tracks from it each week.
  • The peak streaming on Mondays occurs at 8:00-9:00 am local time in the U.S. and the U.K.As I contend,

Further Reading: Why Apple Music is so bad when the iPhone is so good (The New Yorker)

Back from Faroe Islands

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It was a magical week away from the daily hubbub of technology, social media and the Internet. I am rejuvenated (though immensely tired) after my trip to the Faroe Islands. Yesterday was one of those days, spent exclusively in bed (except for a walk to my favorite cafe, for a much needed espresso), recovering from a jet lag.

I have about a 1000+ photos to sort through, and about 40-50 that need to be post processed in the LightRoom. I will share my photos and learnings from this trip later, but for now, just wanted to let you know, I am back from my break. So come back every day for new updates, new links and hopefully very soon, a brand new design!

May 23, 2016, San Francisco

Machine Bias

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks,” writes ProPublica, in first part of its series, Machine Bias. [ProPublica]