Why You Should Try Spotify’s Blend

Shake up your listening habits

Key Takeaways

  • Spotify’s new Blend feature automatically creates a playlist based on two people's musical tastes.
  • The mixes are updated daily based on users’ listening habits.
  • Blend is available for both premium and free users.
Two friends, with a skateboard, listening to music together.

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As one of those older millennials who spent an embarrassing amount of time in high school curating the perfect mix CD, I found Spotify’s new Blend feature to be a fun, quick new way to share music with friends without dedicating hours to creating the perfect playlist.

Blend, which is still in beta mode, is a new type of evolving playlist based on two listeners’ musical tastes. Unlike Spotify’s existing shared playlists, Blend automatically picks and updates songs instead of requiring each user to manually add tracks.

While I found Blend to be far from perfect, I still think everyone should try it.

The good news is that Blend changes frequently, and the selections did seem to become more relevant for both people over time.

What Is Spotify Blend? 

Blend analyzes two Spotify users’ musical tastes to create a mix. Playlists change daily based on what each person is listening to, and work with both free and premium accounts. Next to each song is the profile picture of the person whose taste it represents (or both when users have that song in common).

Finding Blend in the Spotify app was not exactly intuitive, but very easy to use once I tracked it down using an online guide. Blend allows you to create a link you can send to a friend to create a unique mix. 

Activating a Blend is only possible on Spotify’s mobile phone apps, but those mixes are available to listen to afterward on computers via the Web Player.

Automatic Mixes

To try out Blend, I made three separate mixes with my friends Bettina, Sam, and Emily—all clocking in at just under 3.5 hours. While all of us would be able to find some common ground among our styles, each person has their own distinct taste. 

Friends sitting on the ground, leaned against a vehicle, sharing music from a smartphone with wired headphones.

Wesley Tingey / Unsplash

The initial mixes included, for the most part, a wide range of musical genres. Some songs perfectly aligned with both people’s tastes, and others left us scratching our heads. 

The Blend I made with Sam ended up being a wild ride of funk, indie, electronic, reggaetón, pop, and more. It hit the mark with artists that we both love, like Beck. However, Sam noted that the mix played down some of the more specific styles he had been jamming to lately, like yacht rock, family-friendly songs about dinosaurs, and Ethio-Jazz. It also included a few songs I never would have thought to pick for him, like Karol G’s "Bichota." 

Emily’s mix of indie and electropop music was the one that flowed best, perhaps because we already had very similar musical tastes. Bettina’s mix included more dance music, which makes sense based on where our listening habits overlap.

For me, the biggest downside of Blend is that the mixes can be a bit messy. The playlists sometimes cobbled together several genres and songs that didn’t flow well. Bettina’s first two songs were by folksy Simon & Garfunkel and electronic artist deadmau5—not necessarily a pairing you’d expect on the same playlist. And on Sam’s mix, I never would have followed The Beta Band’s laid-back "Dry the Rain" with Ozuna’s party anthem "Síguelo Bailando," due to the styles being so different.

I also noticed that while some of the same songs kept appearing across the mixes to represent me, they weren’t necessarily my favorites. The good news is that Blend changes frequently, and the selections did seem to become more relevant for both people over time.

The Spotify logo displayed on an iPhone.

Sara Kurfeß / Unsplash

Should You Use Spotify Blend?

Blend lacks the nuance and cohesion of the personalized mixes I’d make for my friends, but that might be the most refreshing thing about it. It eliminates the anxiety of choosing the perfect songs to share and creates an opportunity for both people to discover new music they might not stumble upon otherwise. Blend also breathes new life into shared playlists with updates as people’s tastes evolve.

Since starting a Blend with someone is as simple as sending or activating a link, there’s no reason not to try it. At the very least, you’ll get some better insight into the music your friends listen to, find some new artists, and maybe even have a laugh or two over the guilty pleasure songs that pop up in the process.

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