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From the use of generative AI for lyric writing, to the use of voice-mimicking AI in songs, the use of artificial intelligence in music has become one of the industry’s key talking points of 2023.

Now music streaming giant Spotify is throwing its hat in the ring, with a new feature powered by its own personalization tech, as well as by voice and generative AI.

The company is launching a ‘DJ’ feature, which it says is like an “AI DJ in your pocket” and adds that it serves as “a personalized AI guide that knows you and your music taste so well that it can choose what to play for you”.

This feature is first rolling out in beta, and Spotify says it will deliver a curated playlist of music alongside commentary around the tracks and artists it thinks you will like.

This commentary, according to Spotify, will be narrated “in a stunningly realistic voice” using a so-called “dynamic AI voice platform” from its recent acquisition of London-based AI voice startup Sonantic.

Launched in December 2018 by Zeena Qureshi and John Flynn, Sonantic’s founders have backgrounds in speech and language therapy to Hollywood sound production.

Last year, Sonantic built a custom AI voice model for actor Val Kilmer, which was used in the most recent Top Gun film, Top Gun: Maverick.

To create the voice model for Spotify’s new AI DJ, the company says that it partnered with its own Head of Cultural Partnerships, Xavier “X” Jernigan, who previously served as one of the hosts on the platform’s first (and personalized) morning show, The Get Up.

According to Spotify, his “personality and voice resonated with our listeners and resulted in a loyal following for the podcast” and his voice has now been used as the first model for the AI DJ.

You can hear what that sounds like in the video below:

The new feature also uses generative AI to power the commentary, through the use of technology from US-based artificial intelligence research firm, OpenAI.

Spotify claims that it put this tech “in the hands of [its] music editors to provide you with insightful facts about the music, artists, or genres you’re listening to”.

Added Spotify in a blog post: “The expertise of our editors is something that’s really important to our philosophy at Spotify.

“We have experts in genres who know music and culture inside and out. And no one knows the music scene better than they do. With this generative AI tooling, our editors are able to scale their innate knowledge in ways never before possible.”

In addition to Sonantic’s voice tech and the use of generative AI, Spotify’s new DJ feature is powered by its ownpersonalization technology, which gives users a lineup of music recommendations based on their listening history

Where to find the DJ

Ready to have the DJ soundtrack your day? It’s rolling out in English starting today for Spotify Premium users in the U.S. and Canada. 

  1. Head to your Music Feed on Home in the Spotify mobile app on your iOS or Android device.
  2. Tap Play on the DJ card.
  3. Let Spotify do the rest! The DJ will serve a lineup of music alongside short commentary on the songs and artists, picked just for you. 
  4. Not feeling the vibe? Just hit the DJ button at the bottom right of the screen to be taken to a different genre, artist, or mood.

At Spotify we’re uniquely positioned to transform audio. We’re always looking for innovative new ways to improve our users’ listening experiences to meet their needs—so stay tuned for more.