Photo Credit: Spotify
A new story template on Instagram made a Spotify playlist feature go viral—but the company fired the creator responsible.
A prompt created states, “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.” That’s because the Spotify Daylist playlist is an algorithmically generated list that changes multiple times throughout the day with very descriptive titles. Spotify confirmed to TechCrunch that searches for the ‘daylist’ keyword have spiked 20,000% since the prompt went viral on Instagram.
So whether you’re getting ‘warrior 5th wave emo thursday mornings’ or ‘90s rave late rainforest nights’ the daylist has something unique for everyone—as long as you’ve listened to at least a couple of tracks. New users to Spotify will have to listen to music before the daylist playlist will populate with new recommendations and a zany title to make you smile or groan—dealer’s choice.
Spotify already has horoscope playlists, and while the virality of the daylist playlist makes it seem new—the feature launched in September 2023. So who is responsible for the mega-list of sub-genres that Spotify is using to populate these playlist titles?
Glenn McDonald, who served as the curator of EveryNoise. Spotify acquired The Echo Nest, which encompassed EveryNoise in a deal worth $100 million over ten years ago. Since then, McDonald served as a ‘data alchemist,’ helping Spotify filter and sort music into hyper-specific genres for every mood.
Unfortunately, Glenn McDonald was one of the people let go during Spotify’s December 2023 layoffs, which impacted 17% of the company. 2023 was a year of restructuring for the company, starting with 600 people let go in January 2023. Another round followed in June 2023, impacting about 200 people. McDonald was let go in the third round of cuts of 2023. In Spotify’s quest to become ‘relentlessly resourceful’ it has let go of one of the curators of its most loved features for Gen Zers—hyper-personalized, weird playlist titles.