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Search @ Spotify

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At the BCS Search Solutions 2018, I gave a talk about work on search we are doing at Spotify. The talk described what search means in the context of Spotify, how it differs what we know about search, and the challenges associated with understanding user intents and mindsets in an "entertainment" context. The talk also discussed various efforts at Spotify to understand why users submit search queries, what they expect, how they assess their search experience, and how Spotify responds to these search queries. This is work done with many colleagues at Spotify in Boston, London, New York and Stockholm, and our wonderful summer interns.

Publicado en: Tecnología

Search @ Spotify

  1. 1. Search @ Spotify. Mounia Lalmas and many others at Spotify Boston, London, New York & Stockholm November 27, 2018
  2. 2. 1 2 3 4 5 Outline About Spotify. Search at Spotify. Infrastructure for search. Search user journey. Satisfaction in search. 6 Search as recommendation.
  3. 3. About Spotify.
  4. 4. Spotify’s mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity — by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.
  5. 5. 87Million 3Billion + 78Markets 40Million + 191Million €10Billion Number of playlists Spotify is available in Revenue paid to rightsholders (as at August 31 2018) Number of songs Number of subscribers (as at September 30 2018) Number of active users (as at September 30 2018)
  6. 6. http://everynoise.com/
  7. 7. User Engagement Mission: Match fans and artists in a personal and relevant way. ARTISTS FANS
  8. 8. playlists songs ... catalog search browse users What does it mean to match fans and artists in a personal and relevant way?Artists Fans
  9. 9. Search at Spotify.
  10. 10. Large catalog 40M+ songs, 3B+ playlists 2K+ microgenres Many languages 78 countries Different modalities Typed, voice Heterogeneous content Music, podcast Various granularities Song, artist, playlist Various goals Focus, discover, lean-back, mood Searching for … music
  11. 11. Large catalog 40M+ songs, 3B+ playlists 2K+ microgenres Many languages 78 countries Different modalities Typed, voice Heterogeneous content Music, podcast Various granularities Song, artist, playlist Various goals Focus, discover, lean-back, mood Searching for … audio
  12. 12. Large catalog 40M+ songs, 3B+ playlists 2K+ microgenres Many languages 78 countries Different modalities Typed, voice Heterogeneous content Music, podcast Various granularities Song, artist, playlist Various goals Focus, discover, lean-back, mood Searching for … moods or activities
  13. 13. Search is instantaneous … at each keystroke m my my_ my_f my_fav
  14. 14. s sa satt sat sati statis Search is instantaneous … the search logs for “satisfaction” From prefix to query → What is the actual query? → What is success vs prefix vs query? prefix query
  15. 15. Infrastructure for search.
  16. 16. Search infrastructure {q: ‘drake’, user: ‘user1’} Client {q: ‘drake’, user: ‘user1’} Search Service Search Results Re-ranking Service Candidate List +Ranked Candidate List Retrieval Service Candidate List {q: ‘drake’} Ranked Candidate List
  17. 17. Search results re-ranking A prefix query A candidate to be scored (ci ) Metadata Feature Builder fi,1 fi,2 ... fi,k Scorer si Ranking model trained on search interaction logs. Use search sessions that end in a success action as positive examples. user, query and item-based features: - Item popularity - whether user has searched for this item before - similarity of the item to the user taste (vector) - edit distance between prefix query and the matched item title ...
  18. 18. Search Research. We discuss three ongoing projects around understanding how users search for music to listen to. Work in progress. Search user journey About intent and mindset Satisfaction in search About success and effort Search as recommendation About voice 1 2 3
  19. 19. Search user journey.
  20. 20. Overview of the user journey in search TYPE/TALK User communicates with us 20 CONSIDER User evaluates what we show them DECIDE User ends the search session INTENT What the user wants to do MINDSET How the user thinks about results
  21. 21. Intents … what the user wants to do ● Play background music ● Fit an activity ● Listen with others ● Prepare for a concert ● Keep up with current music here and abroad ● Try recommended music from friends ● Hear a song stuck in your head ● Fit a mood ● Keep up with favorite artists ● Explore a niche genre LISTEN Have a listening session ORGANIZE Curate for future listening SHARE Connect with friends FACT CHECK Find specific information ● Make a playlist ● Build library ● Follow artists ● Follow playlists ● Send music to a friend ● Follow a friend ● Check own knowledge ● Gather information ● Learn about concerts Most common Least Common based on qualitative research
  22. 22. Mindsets … how the user thinks about results FOCUSED One specific thing in mind OPEN A seed of an idea in mind EXPLORATORY A path to explore ● Find it or not ● Quickest/easiest path to results is important ● From nothing good enough, good enough to better than good enough ● Willing to try things out ● But still want to fulfil their intent ● Difficult for users to assess how it went ● May be able to answer in relative terms ● Users expect to be active when in an exploratory mindset ● Effort is expected Most common Least Common based on qualitative research
  23. 23. A user can approach any intent with any mindset FOCUSED One specific thing in mind OPEN A seed of an idea in mind EXPLORATORY A path to explore LISTEN Have a listening session ORGANIZE Curate for future listening SHARE Connect with friends FACT CHECK Find specific information EXPLORATORY mindset seems rare and likely better served by other features such as Browse. LISTEN and ORGANIZE are most prominent intents & associated with lean-back vs lean-in behavior.
  24. 24. Focused mindset. When users know what they want to find. The pull paradigm and how it translates to the music context. Findings from large-scale in-app survey + behavioral analysis. 65% of searches were focused. When users search with a Focused Mindset Put MORE effort in search. Scroll down and click on lower rank results. Click MORE on album/track/artist and LESS on playlist. MORE likely to save/add but LESS likely to stream directly. Understanding intents helps us understand search satisfaction (even within a mindset).
  25. 25. Satisfaction in search.
  26. 26. What drives user satisfaction in search? Findings from qualitative research. Focused mindset. User satisfaction translates into success and effort. Good experience is finding, ideally with little effort. Bad experience is not finding, not knowing how to find, or struggling while searching. Users prioritize success and given success, they want to minimize effort.
  27. 27. Mapping success and effort metrics with the search user journey DECIDE User ends the search session. TYPE User communicates with us. CONSIDER User evaluates search results. “Success” metrics associate with the decide phase “Effort” metrics associate with the type and consider phases
  28. 28. Examples of success and effort metrics DECIDE TYPE number of deletions, ... CONSIDER back button clicks, first and last click position, ... Time to success “Success” metrics “Effort” metrics stream LISTEN Have a listening session add to a playlist, save into a collection, follow an artist, follow a playlist, ... ORGANIZE Curate for future listening
  29. 29. Satisfaction metrics for search (focus mindset) DECIDE User ends the search session. TYPE User communicates with us. CONSIDER User evaluates search results. “Success” metrics associate with the decide phase “Effort” metrics associate with the type and consider phases ≅DECIDE metrics ∆ (TYPE metrics ⨁ CONSIDER metrics)
  30. 30. Satisfaction in search. Going beyond the focused mindset. Success and effort in search shaped by mindsets. Focused: one specific thing in mind Open: a seed of an idea in mind User can approach any intent with any mindset. Automatically identify mindsets. Automatically identify intents. Explore satisfaction metrics that incorporates success and effort with respect to intent and mindset.
  31. 31. Search as recommendation.
  32. 32. Users ask for Spotify to play music, without saying what they would like to hear (open mindset) Play Spotify Play music Play music from Spotify Play me some music Play the music Play my Spotify Play some music on Spotify Play some music Play music on Spotify Search by voice. A type of push paradigm and how it translates to the music context. Findings from qualitative research.
  33. 33. Why users provide non-specific queries Open mindset in voice Private & Confidential, For Internal Use Only Why users do not provide a non-specific query They want to effortlessly start a lean back listening session. They do not want to make a content decision. They want to resume a previous listening session. They are curious and want to playfully engage with Spotify. They did not know that they could engage with Spotify this way. They cannot predict what they will get, and are not willing to give up control. They have specific tastes, and do not trust that something that matches their listening habits will be returned.
  34. 34. Search as recommendation. Delivering for the open mindset. Non-specific querying is a way for a user to effortlessly start a listening session via voice. Non-specific querying is a way to remove the burden of choice when a user is open to lean-back listening. User education matters as users will not engage in a use-case they do not know about. Trust and control are central to a positive experience. Users need to trust the system enough to try it out.
  35. 35. Some final words.
  36. 36. Searching for music. Qualitative & quantitative research has helped bring a deeper understanding into how and why users search for music and how they assess the quality of their search experience. Some of these have been and are being validated and expanded through more research. Input to ranking algorithms and metrics. Much more to come. 1 Multimodality pull vs push Satisfaction success vs effort Intents listen vs organize Mindsets focused vs open 2 3 4
  37. 37. Join the band! https://www.spotifyjobs.com/search-jobs/

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