Spotify today is officially rolling out to global users its shared playlist feature called Blend, with a few changes. Earlier this summer, Spotify had first launched the new shared playlist experience into beta testing. The feature, which allows two people to combine their favorite songs into one shared playlist, uses the same music mixing technology that powers other multi-person playlists like Spotify's Family Mix and Duo Mix. However, Blend allows any Spotify user, including both free users and paid subscribers, to merge their musical tastes, too.
The feature has been further developed since its beta release, Spotify says.
Now, users who create a Blend (aka their shared playlist) will get something called a "taste match score" that shows them how similar or different their listening preferences are, when compared with their friends. After the Blend is created for the first time, this taste match score is demonstrated as a percentage and will be accompanied by text that tells users which song brings them together.
Blends will also feature new cover art to help users find their playlists more easily.
Premium subscribers will get an extra perk, as well. On their version of a Blend, listeners will be able to see which of the user's preferences contributed to each song on the playlist.
Spotify says during tests of Blend, Olivia Rodrigo took the top spot for the most-streamed artist on Blend playlists, followed by others like Doja Cat, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Lil Nas X.
The feature isn't only meant to serve as a fun addition to Spotify. It's also a user acquisition strategy. Because free users are able to create or join a Blend, the feature can serve as a way to entice someone to join Spotify for the first time -- even if they currently don't pay for music, or if they subscribe to a rival service. But once they're in Spotify's app, they may decide to stay, the thinking goes.
Blend was announced in June alongside a new in-app experience called Only You, which focuses on your favorite music and how you listen -- sort of like a mid-year version of Spotify's popular annual retrospective, Spotify Wrapped. Like Only You, Blend includes support for social sharing. Users will be able to share Blend's "data stories" across their social channels. This is the screen that pops up immediately after a Blend is created, but can also be accessed from any time within the Blend playlist itself.
Spotify's bigger message with features like this, which are released at a fairly steady cadence, is about conveying to users and competitors alike that's it's further ahead when it comes to personalization technology. Even though rivals now dupe Spotify's ideas for playlists, the company tends to have something new to release shortly after, whether that's Only You, or a playlist aimed at commuters, those for the gym, or a collection of new mixes based on artists, genres and decades.
You can access Blend from the Made for You hub on Spotify's mobile app. To get started, you'll click "Create Blend" then "invite" to select a friend to join your Blend. When the friend accepts, Spotify will create the cover art, track lists and display your taste match score. You can then click "Share this Story" to post your data story to your social networks.
Blend will begin rolling out to all users worldwide, starting today. Large-scale rollouts can take time, so if you don't see it immediately, just check back later.