On the scale of dream jobs, we think a Spotify Music Editor would be up there. An abundance of very now headphones, meetings that are like band jams and a hoard of enthusiastic music lover colleagues that are ready to hit a live show at the drop of a hit. But what does a day in the life of a Spotify Music Editor actually look like? Well, it’s kind of similar to what you’d expect: think exclusive concerts, a buzzing, creative office environment and a lot of ‘plugging in’ to listen to the latest releases and emerging talent. (We weren’t far off).
Arguably holding one of the most envy-eliciting jobs in the biz, Spotify New York’s Meg Tarquinio had an unusual path to the DJ chair, as a former PhD candidate in literature and cinema studies.
“I originally completed a bachelor in the music industry, and loved working at local venues, but a fateful last semester modern poetry class inspired me to pursue a masters in literature,” she tells Collective Hub. “But I missed being part of the music community so I started interning in my free time for an amazing Swedish start-up that looked to explore the possibilities of digital curation. Three years ago that company, Tunigo, was the first to be acquired by Spotify.”
When Spotify’s creators Daniel Ek and Martin Loretzon met in Daniel’s house in 2005, little did they know that they would later disrupt an industry that what was on the brink of diminishing completely. Since the Spotify launch in Sweden in 2008, the multi-platform service has allowed listeners to access mass amounts of music at any given time. With over 2000 employees worldwide and reaching over 30 million paying subscribers, Spotify has become a staple listening service, also serving as a haven for mass music consumption and perfectly curated lists. (Who can live without Discover Weekly?)
For Meg, a senior editor and content programmer, it’s evident considering the company’s quick growth that a lot more is at play than simply choosing a ‘top 10’ playlist – there’s also a careful consideration of long-term strategy and an ability to collaborate at play.
“Our days are pretty dynamic,” Meg explains. “It all depends on what’s coming down the pipeline – internally or externally, from a new product feature or programming tent pole to a major new release. There’s a nice weave of project management, communications, creative development, and curation.”
But while there are many facets of the job, it’s evident that music stays at the core of what Meg does. “One mainstay – and the best part of every week – is Friday mornings. I’ll make a double espresso, sit down at my desk, throw on my headphones, and before I know it hours have passed. First, I go through my notes and plans for my priority releases. Then, I’ll get lost in discovery – scanning the week’s new releases, finding new artists, and just soaking up as much as I can.”
Her love of music is most evident, understandably, when creating playlists. “When I’m creating playlists, I never think about trying to make something popular in and of itself. I always think about fulfilling some kind of purpose, soundtracking a specific mood or moment or sharing a specific time in our music history.”
In 2015, Spotify announced that through their platform, artists were paid US$3 billion dollars, and statistics like this prove the adaptation of the music industry is crucial in keeping up with consumer patterns. It’s this same adaptation and curation that has kept Spotify growing in popularity, and continuing to meet music lover’s needs. And while Meg’s job seems like one of the greatest to have in the music industry, there is one, ultimate other question her job seems to boil down to: how do you create the perfect playlist?
“The human element,” Meg shares. “Music is the ultimate social object, and digital playlists encompass a new kind of conversation – a social mixtape mentality. Some playlists are the digital version of a coffee table strewn with eclectic vinyl: they say something about who you are, or how you want to be seen by your peers. Others encapsulate something essential about a shared human experience – whether it’s just spending a lazy night in bed reading magazines (or skimming Snapchat) or singing alone at the top of your lungs until you burst out laughing when you make eye contact with the person in the car next to you at that red light.
“I think as long as you’re curating for a specific moment, mood, or genre that you feel passionate about sharing with the world, or your friends, or just one person, that’s going to be a great playlist.”