Spotify thinks it can generate a playlist your pet will love

By Harrison Weber

If hand-curating a playlist that you and your pup can agree on seems like a daunting task, Spotify thinks it’s up for the job.

The Swedish music service released Pet Playlists today, its latest experiment in using your listening data to, uh, keep you listening. Spotify says the project considers both “your listening habits and your pet’s attributes” to generate playlists “you both can enjoy.”

As you might have guessed, no, there’s not a ton of research out there to back any of this up.

Some studies suggest that dogs vibe well with certain genres, however. Recent research by the University of Glasgow and the Scottish SPCA suggests that dogs most chill out while listening to reggae and soft rock. Another concludes that classical music “appears particularly beneficial” for dogs, while heavy metal seemed to encourage them to bark.

While Spotify acknowledges that “music for pets isn’t an exact science,” the Pet Playlists tool considers whether your dog is relaxed or energetic, if your cat is shy or friendly, or whether your iguana is curious or apathetic. The company says it consulted with cellist and musicologist David Teie, who’s built a business selling music to cat owners, to shape “how the algorithm was programmed.”

Privacy-conscious pets may be reassured by Spotify’s promise to only use the information you share about your pet to make your playlist. According to Spotify’s FAQ, “the information is not stored and is not used for any other purpose.”

Spotify’s new tool also caters to birds and hamsters. Have a different kind of companion animal? The company encourages you to try it anyway—”You may find your rabbit really likes hamster music!”


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