Spotify expands personalization to its programmed playlists

Spotify this morning announced a major change to how its playlists will operate, with the news that some of its previously human-curated playlists will now be personalized based on listeners’ tastes. Before, Spotify offered personalized playlists like Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mixes, among others, to offer users a way to enjoy the music they like and be introduced to new songs and artists that fit their interests. However, these were clearly separated from the curated playlists programmed by Spotify’s editorial team.

Now, Spotify says that will change.

“Some playlists will now be personalized for each listener based on their particular taste. This means that for those specific playlists, no two will be the same,” the company shared in a blog post.

Spotify says it decided to make this change after finding that users listened longer to the personalized playlists, during a trial of the new system. It also notes that the new system will increase the number of artists [...]  read more

High-Leg One-Piece

One-piece swimsuit; Open sides; Adjustable back tie closure; Minimal back coverage: lots of cheek peek; Imported polyester/spandex. $62. GM-395- …
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #swimsuit

Apple TV+ makes Facebook Watch look like a joke

Apple flexed its wallet today in a way Facebook has scared to do. Tech giants make money by the billions, not the millions, which should give them an easy way to break into premium video distribution: buy some must-see content. That’s the strategy I’ve been advocating for Facebook but that Apple actually took to heart. Tim Cook wrote lines of zeros on some checks, and suddenly Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Oprah became the well-known faces of Apple TV+.

Facebook Watch has…MTV’s The Real World? The other Olsen sister? Re-runs of Buffy The Vampire Slayer? Actually, Facebook Watch is dominated by the kind of low-quality viral video memes the social network announced it would kick out of its News Feed for wasting people’s time.

And so while Apple TV+ at least has a solid base camp from which to make the uphill climb to compete with Netflix, Facebook Watch feels like it’s tripping over its own feet.

Today, Apple [...]  read more

Google launches a new real-time data product for journalists

It’s been just over a year since Google announced its $300 million News Initiative, which included funding for independent journalism efforts along with products developed by Google.

One of those products was News Consumer Insights, which has been used by publishers like BuzzFeed, Business Insider and Conde Nast. It takes data already collected through Google Analytics and makes it more useful for publishers, particularly when it comes to understanding different audience segments and whether they’re likely to become paying subscribers.

“It’s turning raw data into business intelligence and actionable insights,” said Amy Adams Harding, Google’s head of analytics and revenue optimization and head of publisher development.

Now Google is building on the NCI product with a new tool called Real-time Content Insights.

As the name implies, RCI is focused on telling publishers what’s happening on their site at this moment, and on helping them identify trending news stories that could [...]  read more

The ethics of internet culture: a conversation with Taylor Lorenz

Taylor Lorenz was in high demand this week. As a prolific journalist at The Atlantic and about-to-be member of Harvard’s prestigious Nieman Fellowship for journalism, that’s perhaps not surprising. Nor was this the first time she’s had a bit of a moment: Lorenz has already served as an in-house expert on social media and the internet for several major companies, while having written and edited for publications as diverse as The Daily Beast, The Hill, People, The Daily Mail, and Business Insider, all while remaining hip and in touch enough to currently serve as a kind of youth zeitgeist translator, on her beat as a technology writer for The Atlantic.

Lorenz is in fact publicly busy enough that she’s one of only two people I personally know to have openly ‘quit email,’ the other being my friend Russ, an 82 year-old retired engineer and MIT alum who literally spends all day, most days, working on a plan to reinvent the bicycle.

I wonder if any of Lorenz’s previous professional [...]  read more

What to expect from Apple’s ‘Show Time’ event

The biggest surprise about next week’s Apple event may be the fact that the company has anything left to announce. This week, several core pieces of Apple hardware received upgrades, including the iPad Air and mini, iMac and AirPods. Given the company’s rush to get all of that out the door, we don’t expect to see much in the way of new devices at Monday’s event.

Apple sent invites announcing that March 25 will be “Show Time.” The wording was a subtle nod to the “It’s Showtime” invites the company sent for its 2006 Special Event, which saw the announcement of, among other things iTV — an early peek at the product that would launch as Apple TV the following year.

This time out, however, the company is all about the services. Taking center stage will be its long-awaited original content play. Apple couldn’t keep the news fully under wraps as it pumped around $1 [...]  read more