Deezer introduces “Personal Music Feed” and “Deezer Editors”

Deezer just introduced the “Personal Music Feed” as well as “Deezer Editors”. Here’s a quick wrap up on what it’s all about, and how it compares to Spotify.

The feed can be found as “Hear This” within Deezer. Looks pretty good – and quite similar to Spotify Discovery, released back in May.

In the FAQ Deezer gives a few more details on how the newsfeed is generated:

“There are several types of recommendations:
– choices based on your listening habits
– selections from the Deezer Editors around the world
– new music from artists you love
– Deezer Sessions, Deezer Apps. and partnerships
– suggestions from your friends”
(source)

With the Personal Music Feed, Deezer tries to give their users a richer experience of music discovery. The big challenge Deezer tries to solve of course is to help their user find new music, without having to actively search for it.

It’s all about context

Spotify emphasized back in December 2012, that the key to good music recommendations is all about context. Hence they introduced Spotify Discovery (“Now in Spotify recommendations come with context for why they fit my tastes.”).

Deezer seems to agree. As Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez  puts it in a recent article on TNW:

“Context is the key to cracking the music discovery problem.”

“If you really want to crack the discovery process, you don’t need a huge name … You need to be closer to the people.” (source)

With the Personal Music Feed, Deezer offers their users some context. So instead of presenting the user a spreadsheet, the newsfeed will present a suggested album (“Why don’t you try this?”) and will add snippets from the discography and similar artists.

So far, that’s pretty much what Spotify does (albeit Spotify offers a much wider bandwidth of context sources).

Deezer however adds something on top of that. Enter the Deezer Editors.

Deezer Editors

As mentioned above the newsfeed features “selections from the Deezer Editors around the world”. In the newsfeed, those are albums labeled as “Editor picks”:

“We have a large team of music editors based around the world whose job is to seek out the best music and make recommendations. All the editors have specialist knowledge of one or more genres, so you will probably see more recommendations by and editor who is an expert in the music you like.” (source)

Deezer Editors

Deezer Editors have been introduced back in May:

“The Deezer Editorial Team are 50 music experts around the world, whose role is to be Deezer’s ear to the ground, sourcing the best new music to curate hundreds of releases on Deezer every week. ” (source).

Spotify vs. Deezer

So when it comes to context, Deezer now have their Editors, Spotify have got their recommendations by artists, music journalists, or companys in the music space (as described earlier). What’s the difference here? Well, at first it seems that good guy Deezer brings a human touch to recommendations. While Spotify are just relying on their cold algorithms and evil corporate players, Deezer have actual humans curating music just for you.

At second sight though – I seriously doubt that those Editors will ever give me any recommendation that’s actually worth anything to me. As if ironically, Deezer’s video above shows a 2 CD best of collection by The Clash. That’s some kind of special recommendation…

Déjà-vu?

This whole idea of music curated by editors seems very similar to what Rara introduced back in 2011:

rara.com also features a wide selection of expertly curated music channels to suit your every mood

Yeah well. Not sure how they are doing, but looking at the website I saw that “Playlists created by music experts…hundreds of channels, charts and playlists curated by our international team of DJ’s” is apparently no longer the headliner – it’s now hidden as reason no. 5 for why you should care about them.

Personally, I don’t think curated playlists are the future. No number of Editors can ever come up with as personal a recommendation as a good algorithm can. Which is not saying that’s an easy thing to create.