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Why Spotify Is My Personal Smile Factory

I’ve always loved music – who doesn’t, really? But never had I considered myself on top of the music scene.

To shed a little light, during a ‘round table conversation at our most recent company retreat, “what was your first concert?” was the question posed. Most of my coworkers had super cool answers – lead developer Matt Grantski’s first show was Bruce Springsteen’s first reunion with the E-Street Band, and controller Karen Butler-Kennedy’s first show was The Monkees. Epic.

backstreetboys
How did I follow that? My answer; Backstreet Boys. Because, yes, I was that girl, a product of top 40 hits. Throughout childhood and into my college years, music was a part of my life via the radio, at friend’s houses, and in a handful of CD’s played on my silver boombox. There were always songs/artists that would pique my interest on the radio or while out and about, but I didn’t have a way of identifying the band/song being played. Enter, Spotify. A couple music-centric co-workers introduced me, and I’ve never looked back.
Spotify

This music app for your desktop and mobile device offers about a bajillion songs at your fingertips. Music started to blow my mind regularly. It simplified music listening and discovery, and quickly became my own personal little smile factory.

Friday dance party? Check. Monday morning focus? Check. Christmas tunes in July? Make sure to turn on private session feature, but then yep, check.

Not only could I make playlists that fit my current mood to a T – “A Hipster in Hiding”, “I Don’t Give a Folk”, “Skip in my Step”, and “Calm Down” are just a few mention-worthy playlist titles. Then I could continue to build these playlists with the “related artists” feature. Voila! More beautiful/fun/ridiculous/wonderful tunes.

There is more to Spotify than just making rad playlists. Here are some more reasons it rocks my world (literally):

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Social sharing

Not only is there an activity feed of friends’ real time listening, but you can share playlists, send one song/album/artist. Sharing is caring.

Private session

SoundHound

This is a music identifying third party app, similar to “Shazam”. Only this app also allows you to integrate with Spotify. So if I’m out for a happy hour with friends, and hear a song that I just have to add to one of my playlists. 1. ID the song. 2. Click “Open in Spotify”. BOOM. Added to your playlists forever.

Sound hound

Private SESSION

Because, duh, we all have those songs/albums/playlists that we’d rather not tell the world we’re listening to.

Discover

Discover

There’s a whole section that Spotify dedicates to help users discover music that they might love, including an endless scroll of recommendations. Yesssss.

Why was this such a monumental shift for me and so many others out there? Spotify seems to know me better than I know myself. WHOA. Creepy? Or the best thing ever?

How, really, does this magical music machine know that I might be interested in listening to that one song I heard at that one party?

Answer: Spotify uses social media, algorithms, and expert curation to make its magic. It gleans data from your listening habits, your friends listening habits, as well as other data (playlists you’ve followed, music you’ve shared or liked). They study users, rather than relying on more traditional marketing efforts of customer surveys, and biographical profiles. This is proving more effective due to the fact that people like to control how they are viewed.

In a customer survey or interview, people are in control of what they claim to like. However when Spotify studies a user’s direct behavior, their actual music listening habits show face.

Netflix is an example of another company that’s flexing its user prediction muscles through similar research methods. It’s easy for a user to claim they love watching documentaries and foreign films, but actually have a vice for “Say Yes To The Dress”, and “Real Housewives of Atlanta”.

Real Housewives

And most recently, Amazon is starting to sell you things before you even know you want to buy them. What the what?! It’s true, however is that taking it a little too far? There are some that believe these powerful recommendation engines are actually controlling our online habits.

Companies who study customer behavior may seem like a big scary thing, but ultimately, it is helping consumers sort through the bullshit and hopefully be presented with things they might actually find interesting. And while marketing tactics evolve, so do consumers.

Who knows what’s next, but as far as I’m concerned, Spotify can be as “creepy” as it wants to as long as it keeps being my smile factory. It’s just music!

If you don’t already have Spotify, try it out and let’s share some tunes!

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