Google Curators to pass the Susan Boyle test
Google Curators to pass the Susan Boyle test. If you’d like to work for Google as one of their play list curators then you can’t be above the likes of Susan Boyle’s music and those like her.
“We make curators take the Susan Boyle test. We ask these people – and remember, these are music geeks, they’re really seriously into music – to please put together a playlist that features Susan Boyle that you think a Susan Boyle fan would love. If they can’t do that… It’s about getting people to check their ego at the door.” said Peter Asbill, Global streaming lead, Google Play
Music snobs and cool kids only into the obscure, edgy, and underground would in many cases snicker at Susan Boyle. However the SuBo test is a legitimate job interview question and if you’re above taking it seriously then you won’t be a successful part of the Google Play Music team.
“Susan Boyle has no street cred with cool music people, or so you would think. But if they can’t understand Susan Boyle, why she appeals to people and what they’re interested in, they’re not going to be a successful curator for us.”
Playlists are pretty hot button at the moment with the world of streaming taking center stage on how music is consumed globally. The big streaming sites are competing for subscribers and listeners, therefore curated playlists that can accurately predict what a listener may be into is vital. Their aim is simple, to use play lists as an accessible way in to the 30m+ songs currently available to stream.
Apple Music and Spotify are also prioritising curated play lists as part of their service. If I had the chance to work as a Google Curator I’d be all over that like ‘Susan Boyle, no problem. I’ve been down with her since day one!’ In all seriousness she’s a pretty amazing singer so she is worth knowing about.
“We all have this belief that music makes every moment better, so we’re obsessed with someone tapping the app, opening it up, and being served the perfect soundtrack. We want people to be creative, and to bring a sense of humour and a sense of joy to the process of curating music. But the playlist doesn’t matter at all unless we deliver it to the right people at the right moment.” Says Asbill
Algorithms also play an important role here; they are essentially what ensures that the cool and intuitive Google Curator playlists find their target audiences.