As someone that enjoys listening to music, I must admit to having mixed feelings when Spotify came along.
Here was a service at your finger tips which you could use for listening to music for free if you wanted if you could put up with the ads (a bit like commercial radio, but at least you get to choose the music!) – I mean, what about all those days and hours I spent hunting down records when I was growing up?! Isn’t that a rite of passage that everyone should have to undertake?!
And as the Spotify model was further developed, it started to make suggestions based on what I had already listened to. I learnt that algorithms were employed to do this - this evidently brought out the snob in me! A formula telling me what to listen to…?! The end of the world was upon us…
But how different was this to my friends or a radio DJ making recommendations? In theory, not much. Instead of someone trustworthy (a ‘tastemaker’ if you like) pointing you in the right direction, this was just Spotify doing their best to keep me listening to Spotify, and perhaps even encourage me to take-up the paid, ad-free and offline option!
So I admit, I’ve grown to like it – if truth be told, the suggestions are pretty accurate, and very much mirror the playlists and the kind of artists played on a couple of radio shows I avidly listen to. And every-so-often, it will even throw something unexpected at me, which more often than not I will think, “Yes, a good suggestion”.
Being old-school, I still prefer a physical format to buy, so it’s a win-win-win situation – Spotify ensure that I listen to the ads whilst enjoying music via them, and I keep the record industry going by making a purchase.
I also came across https://www.thread.com, which asks you for your taste in clothes, and makes suggestions based on this (on a personal level, all help welcome!), with links so that you can make an immediate purchase if you wished.
This business model is becoming more and more prevalent and demonstrates the level to which companies are working harder to make the customer experience a personal one, and most certainly, a better one. This isn’t one-size fits-all, it’s not rigid, and it puts you at the centre of what they’re doing.
The communications are also more relevant to you as a result, and therefore, you are less likely to hit the ‘delete’ button to the message a millisecond after it’s dropped into your Inbox! The personalised approach should definitely be applauded!