Description: After years of customizing playlists to individual listeners by analyzing components of the songs they like, then playing them tracks with similar traits, the company has started data-mining users’ musical tastes for clues about the kinds of ads most likely to engage them.
Date: Jan 4, 2014
A few services, like Pandora, Amazon and Netflix, were early in developing algorithms to recommend products based on an individual customer’s preferences or those of people with similar profiles. Now, some companies are trying to differentiate themselves by using their proprietary data sets to make deeper inferences about individuals and try to influence their behavior.
This online ad customization technique is known as behavioral targeting, but Pandora adds a music layer. Pandora has collected song preference and other details about more than 200 million registered users, and those people have expressed their song likes and dislikes by pressing the site’s thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons more than 35 billion times. Because Pandora needs to understand the type of device a listener is using in order to deliver songs in a playable format, its system also knows whether people are tuning in from their cars, from iPhones or Android phones or from desktops.
So it seems only logical for the company to start seeking correlations between users’ listening habits and the kinds of ads they might be most receptive to. READ REST OF STORY
Questions for discussion:
1. Do you feel companies that are trying to differentiate themselves by using their proprietary data sets to make deeper inferences about individuals and try to influence their behavior is ethical? Why or Why not?
2. If you were a company that had access to this type of data, how would you price this type of asset in the marketplace? Who are your potential customers ?
Algorithms iPhones or Android