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NME: Why is Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘Espresso’ taking over Spotify algorithms?


Teletubby
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Teletubby

I’m listening to Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C.’s new track ‘Starburster’. It fades out and Spotify selects popstar du jour Sabrina Carpenter’s bop ‘Espresso’. Not entirely on brand but OK. A few days later I’m obviously listening to song of the summer and Drake’s public humiliation/Kendrick’s diss track ‘Not Like Us’ when it ends and I’m served, yep, popstar du jour Sabrina Carpenter’s bop ‘Espresso’. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the audio thirst trap has been spreading out across people’s algorithms with increasing intensity, regardless of whether they’re a ‘Carpenter’ or not.

To be clear, this isn’t to diminish Sabrina Carpenter or ‘Espresso’, which is an impressively lean and catchy pop song doused in the fun and entendre that she’s becomemuch-loved for. Rather, it’s the questions it raises about the sheer prevalence of it that seems to disregard genres and listening habits. Over on Twitter, people are telling a similar story. “I’m playing a hip-hop/rnb radio: Kendrick Lamar, Tinashe, Doechii, SXA,” one person writes. “And then suddenly…Espresso by Sabrina Carpenter. I love the song but that’s not the vibe of the Spotify radio I’m going for????” Another adds: “The Spotify algorithm has given me Sabrina Carpenter – either it’s broken or it thinks my usual selection is too depressing.”

Dr Chris Anderton, Associate Professor in Cultural Economy and music business specialist, suggests there could also be a financial element at play when it comes to ‘Espresso’’s prominence. He points out that Spotify recently changed its autoplay feature so that tracks are chosen based on ‘recommendations’ as opposed to its previous model of what the user had been listening to.

Anderton also says we need to take into account that Carpenter’s label, Universal Music owns shares in Spotify, as does the company Tencent, which then in turn owns shares in Universal Music, while Spotify itself owns shares in Tencent. “These major corporations are therefore linked to each other financially in various ways, while Spotify is reliant on the major labels in particular for access to the catalogues of music that are driving its growth. It needs to play to their tune,” he explains.
 

 

 

I'm just a bad girl trying to be good
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Ladle Ghoulash

Starburster to Espresso is wild 🪦

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Catnikko

it is kind of wild honestly :air: 

Dance in the shadow of the meow
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Emvee

There must be a lot of girls and gays working at Spotify because the only reason I know what this song sounds like is because it auto played at the end of my playlist. 
 

It’s a cute song, but I also feel like I’ve heard that type of song a million times before. The only reason it’s big is because it’s a sexy blonde girl singing it this time. 

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River

When TTPD was released spotify shoved it to everyone's ears, and faces, starts with promo on their social media and ends with shoving all the songs in every possible playlist, but that's too taboo for the media to talk about, so they are going after the new pop girl in town.

I'm working late, cause I'm a puta
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NATAH

same thing happened with taylor swift, my flatmate was playing a playlist full of shygirl and all sorts and it kept forcing TTPD songs every few songs

really killed the vibe of our apartment clean :flippy:

mother, what must i do?
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Rat Boy
5 minutes ago, NATAH said:

same thing happened with taylor swift, my flatmate was playing a playlist full of shygirl and all sorts and it kept forcing TTPD songs every few songs

really killed the vibe of our apartment clean :flippy:

I’m so sorry you have to deal with that. We love you Natah! 🖤

"dont trust this crooked manipulative rat!" - @NichuuB
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Plastic Flower

I used Spotify for a month and Greedy by Tate McRae appeared every ****ing time. 

The manipulation is pretty obvious there. 

Drop it
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Gaga2645

This has been happening to me with this and Sw*ft :messga: I thought I was tripping

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lastpopicon

For me personally, it's Dua Lipa being recommended non stop. 

I really don't mind because I like her music but yeah, stuff like this def happens. 

 

The melody that you choose can rescue you
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weed

Spotify playlist culture is so interesting to me lol I almost 99% will only play music from my library 

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Bronco

The Spotify auto shuffle dj thing feature is blatant payola. There's no otherway to explain how cracked it is

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qoqo

I dont use spotify. espresso is a terrific, addicting pop song and so is her new single. Shes making great music, thats why shes doing well

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HelloHangoverz
16 minutes ago, weed said:

Spotify playlist culture is so interesting to me lol I almost 99% will only play music from my library 

I've been saying this! I recently discovered my adblocker works on the spotify web app, so I've been getting more into it. Feel like a pensioner playing catch up with technology LMAO

Does anyone think global warming is a good thing? I love Lady Gaga. I think she's a really interesting artist.
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ThisGuyTony

I was shook her music career started in the 2010’s and she’s barely getting hits in the mid-2020’s :air: 

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