Serendip Taps Human Intuition Over Algorithms For Music Discovery


Online music streaming sites like Spotify and Pandora have opened up new doors for music discovery.  These sites rely on algorithms to recommend music that is similar to what you’re already listening to or have indicated that you like.  Serendip has redefined music discovery by adding the human touch, serving up music that’s recommended by your friends and other music connoisseurs that share your unique taste.

I had the opportunity to speak with Sagee Ben-Zedeff, Founder and CEO of Serendip, to find out more about the service and how it works.  He explained that, “Serendip’s ‘magic sauce’ is the fact that the playlist you listen to is based on music selected and shared by people just like you, and not on some algorithm that matches songs that sound the same.  So the next song is always interesting, because it’s the result of human intuition, passion and soul, and it can be a classic song you totally forgot about, a new hit or just some tune you really love.  And a combination of those songs, curated in real-time whenever you tune into the service, is what makes Serendip magical.”

With Serendip, listening to music becomes a social experience.  Ben-Zedeff told me,
“Serendip allows users to interact around the music they are listening to – giving a ‘RockOn’ to indicate your really liked the song (an appreciation that is shared with the person who shared it), following DJs you discover (and optionally letting them know about it), and most importantly commenting on Facebook or Twitter about the song shared straight from the application.”  Ben-Zedeff tells me that more social interaction is in the works for the future.

Serendip launched their iOS app earlier this year and this month they updated it with a new Genre and Artist Radio feature.  I asked Ben-Zedeff to explain how this new service differs from radio channels on sites like Spotify or Pandora.  He told me, “Serendip is a lean-back experience, so it just plays great music for you, without the need to know what you want to listen to or actively selecting an album or channel.  But it’s your experience, personalized for you, matching you with music shared by people like you.  It’s not just another playlist or radio channel – it’s what [your friends and ‘music soul mates’] are listening to right now.  This keeps the playlist up-to-date, adapting to whatever is going on around you – it’s your socially-feuled soundtrack and it rocks!”

“Listen to a ‘Rock Genre Radio’ on Serendip, and you’ll immediately notice the difference – it’s not the same artists and songs you come to expect on most services.  The songs playing are coming from your DJs, your music soul mates and those that you’re following, and as they are responsible for curating your music, it simply sounds better – more interesting, more relevant, more tailored to your taste.”

When you create an account on Serendip, the system automatically pulls music that you’ve shared on YouTube, SoundCloud and Bandcamp.  Friends can follow you and give you props by giving you a ‘RockOn’ for the songs you’ve shared that they especially like.  Serendip will automatically serve up some recommendations for DJs to follow—these are your “music soul mates,” people who have shared music that is similar to the music you share.

Check it out at or grab the app and let us know what you think!

Image credit: MANSUROVA YULIA via

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.

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