Spotify recently expanded its portfolio of services with Spotify Taste Rewind. With its own dedicated website, Taste Rewind’s front page pitches itself as “Your music, turned back in time.” The proposition is less H.G. Wells than it sounds. An existing Spotify user logs into their account via the Taste Rewind website. From there they are offered a variety of artists based on the listening habits they’ve established on Spotify. The user is asked to pick three, from which playlists covering preceding decades from the oughts to the 1960s. Each decade’s playlist represents the stylistic progenitors of the selected artists . . . at least that is how it is supposed to work.
Articles from CNET and Engadget report the service working well enough. I myself ran into trouble on an attempted test-run. While I was able to log into my account on Taste Rewind, the connection was not reflected in the selection of “rewindable” artists, which seemed to be a general smattering of top-forty musicians. Whether this is due to some error on my part, Spotify’s, or simply the result of a limited selection of available artists is unclear. The reader comments on the Engagdet article do suggest that other users may be having trouble finding satisfactory musicians. This situation is made all the more confusing by the absence of a search function on Rewind.
As suggested by the CNET article, Taste Rewind may be an attempt by Spotify to set itself apart from its upcoming competition, Apple Music—which launches June 30th. The outcome of the impending rivalry can be expected to make itself apparent in the coming months.