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Playlist-centric personal radio service 8tracks relaunched its website Thursday with new ways for listeners to find DJs they like, and new analytics and real-time monitoring tools that aim to make the service more engaging for DJs.
[company]8tracks[/company] is a bit like [company]Pandora[/company], inviting users to lean back and listen for free, but with a key twist: Instead of just automatically compiling personalized streams, 8tracks emphasizes DJs that upload tracks to the service and compile them to playlists. 8tracks CEO David Porter told me during a recent interview that this emphasis on human curation makes for a more focused experience. “You end up with playlists that are really deep,” he said.
Porter said that about one percent of 8tracks 8 million monthly active users make their own playlists. Another third of the audience makes collections of playlists and shares them with others, and the rest just comes to listen.
8tracks now wants to offer this casual audience a better way to find the DJs and playlists they like by suggesting relevant tags based on a user’s listening history. And DJs are offered detailed analytics on their audience that gives them a better idea on how many people are listening, and how they are interacting with a specific playlist.
Of course, 8tracks isn’t alone with letting humans help you find the right music for you. [company]Beats Music[/company] put a big emphasis on human curation when it launched earlier this year, and [company]Google[/company] recently acquired [company]Songza[/company] to add human curation to its own Play Music subscription service. Porter told me that he sees premium subscription services and a free service like 8tracks as complementary, and that he could see himself partner with one of those bigger players at some point in the future.