Nicolas Rogès

July 4, 2024

This article may contain affiliate links.

The day Adele rose against Spotify: what happened?

Spotify, a platform constantly evolving to enhance user experience, introduced a new feature, Smart Shuffle, previously known as Spotify Enhance. This feature, while not entirely new, has seen several iterations. The Shuffle mode serves a functional purpose and holds implications for music creation and artists. And in 2021, Adele decided it was enough. The day Adele rose against Spotify: what happened? We’ll delve into the details! 

The day Adele rose against Spotify: what happened?

What is Spotify Shuffle? – a brief history of its evolution

At the end of 2021, Spotify introduced a new feature, ‘Enhance,’ now known as Smart Shuffle. This feature, exclusive to Premium users, offers the chance to discover new songs based on your current listening and mix familiar songs with new ones, putting you in the driver’s seat of your music discovery journey. 

It works simply: listeners click the “Enhance” button, and songs are automatically added to their playlist. To make the songs identifiable, Spotify added a bright green star next to each title. This makes them stand out from the rest. The feature is seen as a success by many but is quickly replaced by another, somewhat similar one: Smart Shuffle. 

Spotify Enhance is no longer: introducing Spotify’s Smart Shuffle

In 2023, Spotify changed its strategy. It put Enhance aside and launched a new feature: Smart Shuffle. Click the two grey arrows next to the Play icon to activate it. Spotify will then display the green arrows with a small star at the top left of the icon and then signal, via the appearance of a pop-up window, that “Smart Shuffle” is activated.

Smart Shuffle is based on existing data. That’s why Spotify needs at least 15 songs in a playlist for Shuffle to work. Based on these songs, Spotify will suggest a new song, inserted between three others. To summarize, if you have 15 songs in your Playlist, Smart Shuffle will introduce you to at least 5. 

Machine Learning 101

Spotify can analyze your playlists’ overall mood, preferences, and favorite music typologies using machine learning techniques and its algorithm

The day Adele rose against Spotify: what happened?

The differences between Enhance and Smart Shuffle may seem complicated to understand. Here’s how Spotify explains them: 

“Smart Shuffle builds on the song recommendation benefits of Enhance, which we launched in 2021. Enhance allows users to discover music while keeping their track lists fresh. With Smart Shuffle, we’ve taken those capabilities further by creating a new experience to keep those listening sessions evergreen”.

That was the technical part. With the advent of this type of recommendation and the growing importance of playlists, some artists have become annoyed with this new type of functionality. Such is the case of Adele in 2021. The least we can say is that the singer, whose influence is not negligible, is speaking out. The day Adele rose against Spotify: what happened?

The day Adele rose against Spotify: what happened?

As you know, all artists are attached to their art and how it is consumed. In the case of music and albums, some artists work for years on songs that they see as part of a whole. Within a single album, the songs follow one another in an order thought out in advance and with a precise reason. This is known as sequencing. Sequencing aims to create coherent sequences, give an album direction, and sometimes tell a story. It may involve arrangements that respond to each other from one song to the next, lines of text that follow on from each other, or, in the case of “concept albums”, a story that is told track by track. 

Until the early 2000s, concept albums were ordinary, and it was not uncommon for listeners to hear an album from start to finish in the order in which it was conceived. But this gradually disappeared with the arrival of streaming and, above all, with the advent of streaming. Songs are now isolated from the rest of the album and placed in playlists; some records are listened to out of order, and in this context, sequencing no longer has any meaning or use. 


But some artists are resisting. Such is the case of singer Adele, who, on the eve of releasing her album 30 at the end of 2021, is protesting against the fact that Spotify has decided that, by default, her album will be played in Shuffle mode, i.e., not in the correct order. Traditionally, the “Shuffle” button replaces the “Play” button on the album home page of the application. And Adele doesn’t like it.

The day Adele rose against Spotify: what happened?

This contradicts its conception of music and represents a lack of respect for artists and their art. She is so vocal that Spotify backs down and removes Shuffle playback by default. Not only on her album but also on all other artists’ albums. On her Twitter account, Adele is delighted:

“This was the only request I had in our ever-changing industry! We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story, and our stories should be listened to as we intended. Thank you Spotify for listening”.

Spotify then decided to do the opposite: from now on, an album will be listened to by default from beginning to end, and you’ll need to activate the “Shuffle” mode to change this. 

If this example illustrates the power of certain artists in the face of streaming platforms, it is, above all, indicative of a profound change in how we consume music. It is more dispersed, volatile, and focused on playlists than the works. Streaming platforms have understood this and are surfing this trend. With good reason?

The day Adele rose against Spotify: how can Soundiiz help enhance your Spotify Shuffle experience? 

When you activate Spotify Shuffle, you’ll be offered many new songs that weren’t previously part of your playlists. It’s a great way to discover new songs and artists with little effort.

Its robust algorithm allows Spotify to scan your tastes and listening habits and make increasingly personalized recommendations. You’ll probably want to add these songs to your existing playlists. But what if you decide one day to leave Spotify and try out another streaming platform? Will those new songs be lost forever? That’s where Soundiiz comes in! 

The day Adele rose against Spotify: what happened?

Thanks to our long-established Transfer option, you can transfer all your data from your Spotify profile to any other streaming service you choose. You can retrieve all your data, including your albums, playlists, artists, tracks, and…your Spotify Shuffle-generated songs!

In principle, Spotify Shuffle reminds us a little of what we created with our Artificial Intelligence tool, launched last year. Thanks to this tool developed by Soundiiz, you can generate new songs and playlists by entering a few parameters. You’re in for a world of discoveries!

You can then add these songs to your playlists and manage them on your Soundiiz profile, which acts like a dashboard. Soundiiz supports you in your daily use of streaming platforms, and we’ve been doing it for years.

We hope you liked our blog about the day Adele rose against Spotify, and to test Soundiiz and all its features, click here

Ready to try Soundiiz ?