Spotify is watching you

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Attention Spotify users:  Engadget recently reported that Spotify has begun to serve up advertisements on their Web site, targeted based on the music you are listening to.  “Playlist targeting” is what Spotify is calling this feature.  With this technology, Spotify can review your listening habits, and what you are currently listening to, in order to anticipate the products that you might want to purchase.

Now, when you are listening to a playlist for, say, relaxing meditation music, you might be presented with an ad for a CD or a book related to relaxation.  Isn’t this the golden goose of advertising?  Anticipating your need before you’ve articulated it, and giving you the opportunity to fill that need, just when you are thinking about it?  Spotify reports that “41 of their top 100 playlists are content based,” which means that they are tied to specific moods or themes.  They also claim that their users spend on average 2.5 hours a day on their application/Web site.  If true, that is quite the captive audience.

Can anyone see a potential downside to this?  It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the real world.  Let’s keep an eye on this.

2 thoughts on “Spotify is watching you”

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  2. This doesn’t seem too different to me than targeting specific keywords on Google, but I guess the innovative part might be that they are the first service to offer targeting by music type while presumably their competitors either don’t target ads at all or use listener demographics.

    Of course if you pay for a subscription none of this matters because you won’t get ads anyway 🙂

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