Spotify Albums No Longer Shuffle By Default, Thanks To Adele

Spotify has taken away its default feature of shuffling album playback following a request from singer Adele. The app typically uses its algorithm to decide playback sequences, taking cues from listener behavior to choose which songs to play when. This can be great for users looking to get their music going without having to think about it. And it clearly works well, as Spotify has long treated shuffled playback as a core feature. Indeed, the company has iterated on it further with tools such as Enhanced that promise to spice up existing playlists for individual users.

One place that shuffled playback ostensibly doesn’t provide the greatest listening experience is album playback. Artists and record labels often consider the order of track playback as much as they do album artwork, so it’s reasonable to think that many musicians do not always appreciate Spotify or other streaming services jumbling up what was meant to be a cohesive listening experience. Still, because Spotify and its counterparts reach hundreds of millions of listeners, bands and singers can rarely negotiate how their music is presented. After all, this is how people pay for music these days, so risking that arrangement would be unthinkable for most artists.

Related: Spotify Lyrics Are Now Available To Everyone, Even If You Don't Pay

Adele, however, holds a rare position in the music industry. Since her first album in 2008, the multi-Grammy winner has proven herself to be a formidable force with her concerts selling out globally and her album releases garnering the level of media attention often afforded to contemporaries such as Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. So when Adele requested Spotify remove its shuffle feature for all albums — not just her own — the firm was happy to comply. Now when a listener selects an album, they will no longer see a shuffle button within the Play icon. Instead, the tracks will now play back in their intended order. Still, it’s important to note users can still opt to select shuffled playback if they like, but it’ll no longer be the default.

As Adele has noted on Twitter, artists “don’t create albums with so much care and thought” for track listings to be ignored. The singer added albums tell a story, and that “stories should be listened to.” For its part, Spotify notes it was happy to oblige. Speaking with the BBC, the company says the feature had long been “requested by both users and artists.” Still, it’s of note that it took an ask by one of the biggest singers on the planet before it instituted the change.

The adjustment comes shortly after the release of Adele’s album 30, her first in six years. When Adele launched 25 in 2015, she famously bypassed the streaming services by making the album exclusively available via physical media and downloads, and it didn’t land on streaming services until 2016. And of course, in the years since, Adele has frequently appeared on Spotify’s annual list of most-streamed artists, so it would seem as much as the firm was keen to listen to Adele, it likely couldn't risk ignoring her.

Next: Spotify Just Became A Major Audiobooks Player

Source: Adele / Twitter, BBC

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