Earlier today, Spotify announced some big upgrades that could make it a real competitor to online music discovery services like Pandora.

So what’s new with Spotify?

Check out this article from our friends at Hypebot for all the details, but in a nutshell: Spotify users will now have access to a music discovery engine that is partially determined by your own listening habits (algorithms are fun), and also includes a social component where you can follow the music recommendations of tastemakers, popular music blogs, etc. — (because your listening habits should always coincide with Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” list within a margin of 3%— or you’re obviously doing something wrong! [sarcasm])

Over the past few couple years, Spotify has become one of the dominant players in the tumultuous world of digital music services, and with 5 million paying customers and 20 million active users, it looks like they’re sticking around.

Spotify has always been a kind of halfway solution for music discovery, or rather — a free means of checking out music you’d already heard about from friends, blogs, or bands. But now that they’ll be making more targeted recommendations based on your own preferences, is Pandora in trouble? Will people use Spotify as a music discovery tool? Will any of this matter for smaller independent artists?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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