Spotify Celebrates 5 Years of ‘Discover Weekly’ Playlist

Discover Weekly just celebrated its five year anniversary. Since launching in July 2015, Discover Weekly has been streamed for over 2.3 billion hours.

Though it’s something millions use every week, the history of Spotify’s Discover Weekly is likely something not known to many. It initially started as an idea at Spotify’s annual Hack Week in 2015, and, since then, has become one of Spotify’s flagship features.

The main ingredient in Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist, it turns out, is other people. Spotify begins by looking at the 2 billion or so playlists created by its users — each one a reflection of some music fan’s tastes and sensibilities. Those human selections and groupings of songs form the core of Discover Weekly’s recommendations.

Spotify also creates a profile of each user’s individualized taste in music, grouped into clusters of artists and micro-genres—not just “rock” and “rap” but fine-grained distinctions like “synthpop” and “southern soul.” These are derived using technology from Echo Nest, a music analytics firm that Spotify acquired in 2014, which learns about emerging genres by having machines read music sites and analyze how various artists are described.

The press release states that Discover Weekly playlists have been streamed for over 2.3 billion hours in total, which can be extrapolated to:

  • 8.4 trillion seconds
  • 140 billion minutes
  • 2.3 billion hours
  • 97.3 million days
  • 13.9 million weeks
  • 266.5 thousand years

According to Spotify, the Moroccan-Dutch DJ R3HAB is the most discovered artist in the most markets — 16, to be exact — meaning users across those countries streamed him the most out of any other creator on their Discover Weekly playlist.

“I love how Spotify allows my music to connect with people across so many cultures,” R3HAB told For the Record. “I’ve always considered myself a world artist and it’s amazing to see my music truly traveling. Spotify has broken down the geographical boundaries of music discovery, allowing people from all over to discover my music as soon as it’s released. Thank you, Discover Weekly.”

Halsey, on the other hand, took the spot for most discovered female artist globally. Notably, she released her first album, Badlands, in 2015—the same year Discover Weekly was created! Now, she’s included on the list of Top Streamed Female Artists on Spotify.