What Is Spotify Smart Shuffle and How Do You Use the New AI Feature?

March 11, 2024 • Devin Partida


Curious about the new Spotify Smart Shuffle feature? Discover what it does, how to use it and what other AI-powered tools the streaming giant leverages to enrich your listening experience.

What Is Spotify Smart Shuffle?

Spotify Smart Shuffle is a new play mode that enables users to discover new songs through recommendations. Spotify added the feature in March 2023 to help listeners keep their playlists fresh by adding new songs based on users’ preferences. 

The audio streaming service improves upon its earlier feature, Enhance, which added personalized song recommendations to user playlists. Launched in 2021, Enhance populated playlists with suggested songs that match a playlist’s tunes and style.

Spotify Smart Shuffle is primarily available for premium account holders, but free users in select locations can experience the new feature in default play mode. Free users in the following countries can expect new song recommendations to appear on their playlists.

  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Philippines

The feature aims to put a new twist on song recommendations by considering users’ taste in music, like the songs and genres they listen to the most. Spotify Smart Shuffle found a use for AI’s user behavior analytics and learning capabilities.

Spotify playing on a mobile phone connected to earphones

How Does Spotify Smart Shuffle Work?

Spotify announced that Smart Shuffle works with playlists containing at least 15 songs. Advanced algorithms use the songs included in the playlist to curate suggestions. Here’s what you can expect to see in Spotify’s new playlist feature.

  • Smart Shuffle activates with a simple tap of the Shuffle button.
  • Existing playlists will include one new song for every three tracks.
  • You can add new songs to your playlist or revert to old ones.
  • New song recommendations have a sparkle symbol (✨) next to them so you can see which songs to add or remove.
  • Smart Shuffle is available for all Premium users worldwide using Android or iOS devices.

How Do You Use Spotify Smart Shuffle?

Spotify made Smart Shuffle as seamless as possible You can integrate the new feature into your streaming habits with a few simple steps.

  1. Pick an existing playlist with at least 15 songs in it.
  2. Tap the Shuffle button on your chosen playlist.
  3. Select ‘Smart Shuffle’ on your screen.
  4. Spotify will automatically add new songs to your playlist.

It’s simple to use and lets you listen to old favorites while discovering possible new ones to add to your playlist. Take note of the sparkle symbol next to the song name so you can quickly identify them.

How Do You Turn Off Spotify Smart Shuffle?

The streaming service also made it easy to deactivate the new feature if you want to keep listening to old favorites. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Access your Spotify playlist while using the Smart Shuffle feature.
  2. Tap on the Shuffle button again to disable Smart Shuffle.
  3. Listen to your playlist with no new recommendations.
Spotify app on laptop screen

How to Add or Remove Songs in Smart Shuffle

Spotify enables you to add or remove new songs based on the Smart Shuffle recommendations. Here’s how you can manage new songs in your playlist.

  1. Turn on Smart Shuffle on your Spotify playlist.
  2. Look for the new song you want to add to your playlist.
  3. Tap the plus icon (+) next to the song you want to add.

The process is similar for new song recommendations you want to remove from your playlist. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Turn on Smart Shuffle on your Spotify playlist.
  2. Look for the new song you want to remove from your playlist.
  3. Tap the minus icon (-) next to the song you want to remove.

How Spotify Uses AI

Spotify is no stranger to using AI in its services. They combine emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and algorithms to improve user experience and optimize critical business processes. Here’s how Spotify integrates AI into its business structure.

Marketing Campaigns

Like any other digital company, Spotify uses marketing campaigns to encourage users to keep using its services. Spotify Wrapped gained massive popularity among users when it was launched in 2015. It gives users a complete breakdown of their listening habits, including top artists, songs and playlists in the past year.

Spotify Wrapped became a way for listeners to see their favorite songs and their total hours on the streaming service. Users could also share their stats with friends via social media platforms, creating a huge buzz and encouraging more listeners to try the streaming service.

Spotify used algorithms to process its listeners’ data to create the musical profiles shown on Spotify Wrapped. It was a clever way to visualize user patterns and behavior and people came to embrace the feature with their annual sharing of their most listened-to artists and songs. The digital company has mastered using AI in its marketing strategies, keeping its advantage over its rivals in the streaming industry.

Spotify playing on a mobile phone connected to earphones

Personalized Recommendations

Spotify became an audio streaming giant thanks to its technological foresight. Aside from making millions of songs from different artists available for on-demand listening, they also layered their song library with personalized song recommendations.

Spotify leverages user data like listening history, total playbacks and song searches to create recommendations tailored to your preferences. It’s an excellent way to predict what you might want to listen to next. Spotify uses these functions to automatically populate your feed and get you to listen to more music you like.

Collecting and processing massive amounts of user data is possible with AI, machine learning, algorithms and automation. Spotify understands how value drives its business model forward and continues to make high-quality recommendations that its subscribers love and pay for.

Playlist Creation and Curation

While Smart Shuffle inserts new song recommendations into existing playlists, Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” feature creates new playlists based on your listening habits. These playlists play to your musical tastes and may resemble what you’ve listened to in the past weeks.

They complement your taste in music and often give you new musical content from your favorite artists. Spotify also tracks musicians and podcasts you follow to create playlists for different days of the week or times of day. The feature uses data processing and analysis to satisfy user needs and promote a personalized experience using the app.

Spotify Smart Shuffle: A Smart Use for AI

Spotify’s new Smart Shuffle feature adds a unique experience for users who like to mix things up with their listening preferences. It places the power at listeners’ fingertips using AI-optimized processes for an immersive and improved user experience.