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Something Deeply Personal And Private

Something Deeply Personal And Private

 

Music is emotional, and so our listening often signals something deeply personal and private.”

“Today, this means music streaming platforms are in a unique position within the greater platform economy: they have troves of data related to our emotional states, moods, and feelings. It’s a matter of unprecedented access to our interior lives, which is buffered by the flimsy illusion of privacy.”

“When a user chooses, for example, a “private listening” session on Spotify, the effect is to make them feel that it’s a one-way relation between person and machine. Of course, that personalization process is Spotify’s way of selling users on its product.”

“But, as it turns out, in a move that should not surprise anyone at this point, Spotify has been selling access to that listening data to multinational corporations.

Over the years, streaming services have pushed a narrative about these mood playlists, suggesting, through aggressive marketing, that the rise of listening by way of moods and activities was a service to listeners and artists alike—a way to help users navigate infinite choice, to find their way through a vast library of forty million songs.”

“It’s a powerful arm of the industry-crafted mythology of the so-called streaming revolution: platforms celebrating this grand recontextualization of music into mood playlists as an engine of discovery.”

But a more careful look into Spotify’s history shows that the decision to define audiences by their moods was part of a strategic push to grow Spotify’s advertising business in the years leading up to its IPO—and today, Spotify’s enormous access to mood-based data is a pillar of its value to brands and advertisers, allowing them to target ads on Spotify by moods and emotions.”

“Further, since 2016, Spotify has shared this mood data directly with the world’s biggest marketing and advertising firms.

I think you need to read The Big Mood Machine.

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