Spotify to Enhance Recommendations, Target ‘Potentially Harmful Content’ With Expanded Google AI Deal

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Spotify and Google have announced an expanded partnership deal extending to artificial intelligence as well as ‘engineering to engineering collaboration.’ Photo Credit: Dylan Carr

Spotify is officially set to expand its artificial intelligence content recommendation capabilities as part of a new agreement with Google.

The Stockholm-headquartered platform and the YouTube parent just recently unveiled their bolstered tie-up, with the latter’s cloud unit having been “Spotify’s preferred cloud provider since 2016.” According to the involved parties, which inked a “groundbreaking” payments deal in March of 2022, their latest pact will see Spotify utilize Google AI offerings “to improve critical aspects” of its service.

Some of these critical aspects, such as content discovery and personalized recommendations, appear straightforward enough. The former will involve Spotify’s tapping “large language models (LLMs) to better understand the breadth of its content library and augment the metadata used,” per the businesses.

And on the recommendation front, the AI DJ creator Spotify’s seeking to effectively analyze listening habits across spoken word content (podcasts and audiobooks, that is) and then “present new and interesting recommendations” based upon the findings.

Perhaps more significant, however, is a component of the agreement concerning the use of large language models “to provide a safer listening experience and identify potentially harmful content.” While neither Google nor the Kinzen owner elaborated upon the corresponding plans, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for the impact thereof moving forward.

In a statement, Spotify co-president, CPO, and CTO Gustav Söderström emphasized “the strong and trusted foundation” his company’s built with Google Cloud.

“The evolution of our technology has been matched by Google Cloud’s commitment to building the best possible platform for our products to run on and driving further innovation with the emerging capabilities of generative AI,” continued the nearly 15-year Spotify exec Söderström, whose employer reported 574 million MAUs for Q3 2023.

Beyond the AI element of the union, Google and Spotify are poised “to deepen their strong engineering to engineering collaboration to scale and grow Spotify’s core features and backend platform,” the appropriate entities also relayed.

“The collaboration and co-innovation between Spotify and Google Cloud pushes the boundaries of what both platforms can do,” Tyson Singer, Spotify’s VP of technology and platform, communicated in a statement. “The sheer scale at which we are able to run backend services and process data, in addition to the cost savings we have been able to achieve are crucial to the success of our business.”