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Published on September 26th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Spotify is now in the DNA business, apparently. But what does this have to do with music? You might be surprised.

You’ve probably seen the ads for Ancestry, the company that promises to tell you things about yourself using a simple DNA test. Ancestry has now teamed up with Spotify to use their tech to determine your musical DNA using your real DNA.

Okay, so what does that mean?

You start by getting your AncestryDNA analysis. Then, you input all that data–whatever ethnicities and regions come back from your test–and Spotify will serve up a playlist that will reflect the music of your ancestors. The goal is to broaden users’ musical universe by going into areas that they might otherwise never explore.

But what if you don’t want to do the DNA test? Then you can just figure out your musical DNA based on your Spotify listening habits.

I’ve never taken a DNA test, so I thought I’d try it. I just signed into my Spotify account find out that my musical DNA is 25% rock, 25% neo-mellow (I listen to a lot of ambient music while I work), 13% art rock, 13% album rock, 13% permanent wave (er, okay) and 11% Canadian metal.

Below this handy pie chart is a map of the world, recommending music from a different region. In my case, I was invited to explore the music of Sweden.

It’s a good timesuck for the workday. Go here to learn more.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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