Home Record Label Launches Spotify Playlist Site, Launch Goes Down in Flames

Record Label Launches Spotify Playlist Site, Launch Goes Down in Flames

Universal Music Group launched a new website today called Digster.fm, where a team of music editors curates playlists that can be listened to through music service Spotify. Spotify is great, curation is a creative act with incredible potential, and I had some hope this new effort could point towards the future of competition between music industry players. Yeah! Come on, Universal, let’s see who can make the most awesome curated playlist website!

This one, however, is terrible. There were errors throughout the log-in process (you can’t listen to music until you log in either), it required I give the site access to Tweet from my account and the Digster.fm Twitter account has been Tweeting out links all afternoon to websites that posted their raw press release.

The playlists? Terrible, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve tried looking around for something good and they are all just terrible. Apparently the editors aren’t limited to just Universal music, so I don’t know what the problem is. Mostly a bunch of stupid, pop crap.

Bad music, bad playlist titles, non-helpful one-line descriptions for the playlist. Some goofy “mood indicator” iconography. Terrible. No wonder Universal went to great lengths to keep its name off the site, except on the pages for the legal terms.

A single intern at “taste graph” startup Hunch.com built a little side project that went live today called Hunch.fm. It is much, much better than Digster.

Other sites offer me something else, like meaningful personalization or social discovery. Artist information. Curation I find of interest. This is just half-baked, condescending and pointless. We have the Internet now, Universal. It brings us wonderful things – the bar has been raised. The bar is also higher because you are the biggest of all the music label groups.

Sorry, music industry, you’re going to have to do much, much better than this.

Below: I opened the Digster playlist of True Latin Rock and the first thing I see is an album cover of someone with their underpants around their ankles while a band yells the word “Puto!” (Spanish slur for male homosexual prostitute) at me for 2 minutes. Thanks, Curator Angela!

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