Spotify Launches Pet Playlists



Many pet owners use Spotify to listen to their favorite music, but they might not know that the streaming service now offers playlists for animals. Launched just last week, Spotify’s Pet Playlists curate songs that supposedly soothe pets and help them bond with their owners.

Spotify was inspired to launch the feature after conducting an online survey with pet owners from the U.S., Australia and Europe. The results of the survey indicated that 71% of participants have played music for their pets and eight in 10 pet parents believe that their animal companions enjoy hearing music. The majority of those surveyed believed that pets experienced benefits from listening to music, such as stress relief and a boost in happiness.

In order to create a Pet Playlist, Spotify users must indicate what species their pet is (there are currently only options for dogs, cats, birds, hamsters or iguanas) and fill out a survey about its personality. The survey asks whether the pet is relaxed or energetic, shy or friendly and apathetic or curious. Using an algorithm, Spotify then generates a personalized playlist that caters to these traits. For example, a shyer pet may have slower songs on its list, while a high-energy animal may get more upbeat choices. The algorithm is supposed to take the pet parent’s musical tastes into consideration too.

In developing the Pet Playlist feature, Spotify consulted with David Teie, a cellist with the National Symphony Orchestra who has composed music albums for cats. Using Teie’s expertise, the streaming app took into account species-specific needs. For example, canine playlists won’t feature low-register songs as dogs can find those sounds to be intimidating.

These Pet Playlists may be based more on PR appeal than exact science (Spotify has been pushing hard for pet parents to share them on social media with #SpotifyPets). However, they represent how the tech and pet worlds are becoming increasingly entwined. Pet parents want their animal companions to share in everything in their lives, even their music, and technology makes that easier than ever.


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