A couple of months after the buzz of Spotify Wrapped died down on social media, a new trend stepped in—daylists. Similar to the yearly music results that circulate on X-formerly-Twitter and Instagram, daylists have taken over Stories and feeds. So if it feels like everything you see on social media is people's daylists, that's because you do.
So, what are Spotify daylists?
Daylist is Spotify's latest feature that updates and changes three times a day to adapt to your listening habits. Basically, a daylist is a new way of music recommendation to listeners, similar to Daily Mix.
According to Spotify's vision shared with Mashable, "daylist updates frequently, bringing together the niche music and microgenres you typically stream at certain times of the day and week. You'll get new tracks at every update, plus a new title that sets the mood of your daylist." So your personal daylist will recommend you multiple songs, and you might not even know all the artists, making it a cool personalised way to find new music.
Of course, Spotify wouldn't be Spotify without giving their playlists (which were surely intended to go viral) quirky names like "Sensational Gyat Friday Morning" or "Nascar Rock Legend Thursday Afternoon" or "Overthinking Winter Thursday Late Night." I've browsed through X to find these, and at some point, I questioned if these names were photoshopped by users or actually made by the streaming platform's algorithm.
Spotify launched daylists back in September 2023, but it's only now in January 2024 that it went viral and gained a huge 20,000% surge in searches in just a week, according to Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek's LinkedIn post, where he also shares his own generated daylists. This surge can be attributed, in part, to Instagram's "Add Yours" story template feature,where many started sharing Stories like "Don’t tell me your astrology sign; I want you to go into Spotify, search for your daylist and post the title it gave you," as reported by TechCrunch.
"Lesser known fact—the idea for daylist actually came out of a hack week (a thing we do to let teams innovate outside their day job)," Daniel adds on his LinkedIn.
"Spotify uses machine learning to pull together the thousands of descriptors that create the unique daylist playlist names," Molly Holder, a senior product director at Spotify, said in a statement to New York Times.
How come are Spotify features so viral?
We have only one word for you—personalisation. And funny names. Even as someone who has been using Apple Music for years (and still does), I started using Spotify after last year's Spotify Wrapped.
"You’ll get new tracks at every update, plus a new title that sets the mood of your daylist. With relatable titles including thrillwave, happy dance, pumpkin spice, and more, the playlist helps you understand more about your taste in music—and express your unique audio identity," as Spotify's daylists announcement reads.
Those catchy titles are likely the reason why this September-released feature saw a sudden 20,000% surge in searches in just one week. The same scheme works for the overhyped Spotify Wrapped, offering a personalised roundup of your listening habits, which became even more personalised in 2023.
Last year's Wrapped was special thanks to the "Me in 2023," a feature that categorises users into 12 distinct "listening characters," such as Luminaries, Cyclops, Alchemists, Vampires, etc., each characterised with distinctive listening habits. For instance, Alchemists are those who create lots of playlists, and Time Travelers are those who listen to tracks on repeat.
Just like daylist titles, Spotify genres often become the subject of discussion because it's sometimes hard to believe that some of these genres even exist.
But here's the main takeaway: Spotify indeed invents some genres. Former Spotify's genre researcher Glenn McDonald (he no longer works there after that big layoff in December) created an interactive genre map Every Noise at Once, with genres that emerge from "users' listening patterns." Basically, all those genres and, in some sense, even these viral daylist titles are all part of McDonald's legacy.
I want to take a look at my daylist. How can I find one?
On the mobile app, you can find your personalised daylist in the Made For You hub, while on desktop and web, a search for "Daylist" will lead you to it.
You can also save a daylist by tapping the three-dot menu, selecting "Add to playlist," and then tapping "New playlist" to store it in your Library. Note: Save it before the next update, as the daylist is regularly refreshed.
To share your daylist, tap the Share arrow and send a screenshot of the playlist, sticker, or a sharecard containing a link to the playlist.