Music streaming giant, Spotify, has launched a new service called Playlist Targeting from their Spotify for Brands platform. This service aims to streamline the advertising process by ensuring that ad messages get to the right audience at the right time. Owing to the nature of Spotify’s business and with its acquisition of music analytics service Echo Nest, the brand has big data on its 60 plus million subscribers, 45 million of whom use the free version that comes with ads.


This new service implies that starting May 1st, brands who advertise on Spotify will now be able to target their ads to consumers based on their demographics, the genre of music they listen to, and even their mood. One can infer what mood a person is in by what playlist they’re listening to. For example, if you’re listening to a workout playlist, you’ll most likely get an ad from Nike or Planet Fitness, not McDonalds.

Mood Playlists on Spotify

The service upgrade is a welcome development for brands who appreciate effective targeting, though it raises concerns about user privacy issues. Privacy has been a hot button issue in recent times, especially for brands like Google and Facebook. Some are of the opinion that loss of privacy is the price we have to pay to use the Internet, while others are concerned that their every move is being watched and would prefer if their information be kept under lock and key.


While this service currently appears harmless to users, it’s only a matter of time before we start hearing stories of subscribers whose privacy has been breached on this service. Right now, nothing is being said about the measures Spotify is taking to safeguard the privacy and anonymity of its users. Privacy breaches are becoming commonplace, and consumers are taking the brunt of the abuse, with billions of dollars being drained from their pockets due to their use of popular websites and apps. It begs the question, how far are brands willing to go to reach their audience, and how much are we willing to give to enjoy our toys?


What do we love more? Our technology or our privacy? How far is too far? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section or tweet me @mo_yeen.