Over a year after unveiling Chill Mix, which is a curated mix of tracks to help you unwind over the weekend, Apple Music has begun rolling out a new discovery mix called Friends Mix. This playlist picks 25 songs that your Apple Music friends have been listening to. The Friends Mix has begun appearing for some users in the US, as per a report. It is likely to roll out to the rest of the world eventually. While Apple Music relies heavily on music curated by its editors, its algorithm-based playlists are right at the top both on iTunes for Windows and Mac, and the Music app on iOS and Android.
This is a result of the new features added to Apple Music with the launch of iOS 11. The change allowed people to follow their friends on Apple Music, and the Friends Mix adds to that. Until now, the only way to discover your friends’ favourite songs was via the “Friends Are Listening To” section on Apple Music, where you can see the albums that your friends have been playing. The Friends Mix curates the specific songs they’ve been listening to, which adds another layer of personalisation to the service. According to a report by 9to5Mac, the Friends Mix updates every week on Monday. That report says Apple Music’s Friends Mix updates every Monday, Favorites Mix on Tuesday, New Music Mix on Friday, and Chill Mix on Sunday.
This means that there are only three days of the week for Apple to fill with algorithmically curated playlists. These can be found under the For You tab on Apple Music. That tab also features new albums, genre-based playlists, and artiste-specific playlists for you to discover every day. The Friends Mix gives us a glimpse of the social angle to Apple Music going one level deeper, which means that you might want to start curating the people you’re following in order to get better song recommendations on some of these playlists.
At the moment Apple Music is locked in a battle with Spotify to become the world’s most popular music streaming service. Spotify has 83 million paying subscribers against Apple Music’s 50 million as revealed by Apple CEO Tim Cook in May, but the latter entered the market much later and appears to be have overtaken its rival in some key markets such as the US already.