A little while back, Spotify introduced their Discover Weekly feature, which provides users with a curated (via algorithm) list of music for them to listen to. It was their way of saying, “We’re hip and in the know and want to help you find cool new music.” What their new feature Found Them First presupposes is, maybe you are hip and in the know and already have the pulse of what the cool new music is.
Found Them First is a simple little microsite with an even simpler premise. Namely, you log into your Spotify account from their website, and it tells you which artists you, in fact, heard first. That is to say, which artists have recently broken out that you were among the first 15 percent of people to stream. Basically, if you were an early adopter of a breakout musician, the website features the likes of Lorde and FKA Twigs for reference’s sake, this feature will let you know, and let you let the world know.
In short, Found Them First is a way for you to pat yourself on the back for liking a musician “before they were cool.” Anybody who has ever talked to anybody else about music knows how much import certain people put into hearing something first. They also then give you a playlist of new music to listen to, suggesting that perhaps you will find the next breakout artist in the music they’ve suggested. In doing so, they take the crown of “musical tastemaker” back after giving it to you oh so briefly.
So check out Found Them First to find out which artists you were in on early. Personally, your humble writer is evidently far from a tastemaker, having only been in on Courtney Barnett early. However, this is owed in part to the nebulous definition of “breakout artist.” One could easily listen to a new artist that gains cult acclaim, but hasn’t yet broken out. Of course, there are those who would prefer this. The only thing a certain strain of music fan likes more than being on the bleeding edge of music is rallying against sellouts.