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There you were, naively thinking the dark recesses of your listening history were between you and Spotify alone.
The music streaming company this morning (July 20) announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with ad tech company Rubicon Project, which will give the latter group access to Spotify’s data troves—including an individual listener’s age, gender, and specific music preferences—that it’ll then use for automated advertising.
Brands placing ads on the platform will be able to target their promotions to specific listeners, based on personal demographics and even playlists and overall taste. In short: Spotify ads will soon start getting very, very personal.
It’s massively important that all record labels have access to the data that tells us where streams come from.
Some would say we’re in the ‘dashboard era’ of the music industry now. In theory we should all soon be able to delve deeper, past the publicly available volume data to understanding what behaviors are behind the streams.
The sooner the whole industry has access to this information the better — otherwise we’ll be unable to communicate effectively with the increasingly powerful editorial gatekeepers at streaming services who are adept dashboard operators.
That’s why it’s admirable that Spotify and Sony Music have taken early steps to sharing streaming data with artists, labels and managers.But could the data ‘arms race’ actually be between record labels and the streaming services themselves?
The latter are putting a lot of investment into predicting hits and measuring trends — and they have deep pockets. What happens if they develop a proprietary ‘magic metric’ and offer it directly to artists to circumnavigate the labels? They have investment capability, a distribution platform and ownership of the customer relationship.
Spotify wants brands to get intimate with its listeners, because it knows what they are feeling. Artists, meanwhile, can drop in anytime and check out the geographic popularity of their labors. In an interview with Beet.TV at the Cannes Lions festival, where Spotify had a major presence on several panels, Head of Sales for the Americas Liberty Carras Kelly cites the company’s Sponsored Playlists as the latest opportunity for audio engagement.
Data collected by Spotify provide clues as to listeners’ moods and what they’re doing—be it running, or cooking, working out or whatever.
Programmatic advertising relies on real-time bidding for inventory in order to secure the best price whereas brand campaigns require the human touch of copy, design and dedicated creativity to make a campaign work around a specific publisher.
Neither is perfect. Programmatic can handle huge volumes assuming the conditions are right and there is both the supply and the demand, however, they tend to be of lower value. On the other hand, campaigns requiring human time and effort clearly cost more and require more planning, but result in a more immersive experience and therefore commands a higher value and can better address a specific marketing need. The same is true in music streaming, there’s a huge volume of content out there but it only holds value if it’s managed around a person’s actual likes and dislikes. If not, it’s just a mass of content waiting to be solved. The two approaches of algorithmic recommendations and human curation applied in music today is paralleled perfectly by programmatic and bespoke advertising.
So, what does this mean for marketers?
Source: The Drum
The “Seattle Sound” may be a mythical, all-encompassing thing that veers toward indie rock or leftover grunge hits, but according to an analysis by Spotify, the city’s musical taste is quite varied from neighborhood to neighborhood.Streaming data reveals distinctive listening habits in eight parts of Seattle, plus Bellevue.
The music service shared top-10 lists from neighborhoods such as Ballard, Capitol Hill and West Seattle.
Spotify wants music streaming behavior to become a new currency for advertisers, and the company is working with data management platform Krux to make that happen.
Over the past several months the two firms have developed and tested a new offering that puts Spotify data to use for advertisers including Esurance and Lay’s potato chips, specifically in the Spotify mobile app.
Spotify has first-party age and gender data on its users, and knows not only what music genres they prefer, but when they tend to listen.
Spotify launches a lot of things that don’t stick. Said things are often revealed at elaborate, highly produced pitch events where male models serve haute breakfast foods and high-profile musical acts like D’Angelo perform.
Take, for example, the company’s “open API” launch from 2011. Partners like Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Billboard built apps inside Spotify. These apps were meant to help Spotify’s users figure out what to listen to and find out about concerts. The apps are now gone. Instead, Spotify has built its own music discovery tools.