Consumer Insights · Media Strategy · Brand Planning | Los Angeles, CA

Serendip Takes Streaming Radio Social

Earlier today, I posted about Spotify, saying it revolutionized the way we access music. That’s true, but I find it has its limitations. 

First, radio. Spotify uses a Pandora-esque algorithm to let you start a station based on an artist or song, choosing related songs. It works well enough for those times when you want to set it on autopilot and get a bit of variety, but the algorithm is a little…odd. For example, I tried making Notorious BIG station earlier this month on his anniversary, and the first five artists it played were something like Outkast, mid-2000’s Mary J Blige, Cassidy, Dogg Pound and Kanye West. All sort of hippity hoppity, but none were the dusty mid 90’s east coast rap I had in mind.

Second, new music. For its amazing diversity, Spotify (and all its close competitors, for that matter) lacks the mixtapes, leaked cuts and unofficial releases that are often the most interesting hip hop. Understandable, as the service caters to labels and official albums. It keeps Spotify for being a one-stop source for me, though, or the place where I go to hear something new.

Enter Serendip, introduced to me today by SocialTimes. Serendip lets you follow friends or other “DJ’s” whose musical choices you like, and generates a radio station based on the actual songs and Youtube videos they post on social media. 


File under: “wish I’d thought of that.”

In the half hour or so I’ve been using it, it is recommending great stuff, some old, some new. As it turns out, my friends make a pretty great algorithm for songs I didn’t know I couldn’t live without. I also think it’s cool that it scours my Twitter feed for the music I post and makes my own DJ recommendations based on that. So without any extra effort on my part, people can follow me and listen to my selections. As a DJ at heart, sharing what’s in my speakers is something I love to do. 

I can tell Serendip is in its early stages, as none of the DJ’s I followed, even big-name superstars who will no doubt amass big followings in the coming months, have follower counts still in the double digits. It also currently lacks an Android app, which is a bummer. But overall, this is a great concept, and from what I can tell so far, nice execution. I don’t expect Serendip to steal Spotify’s urr…spot, but it is a welcome addition.

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