Spotify’s new patent for “personality tracking” sounds…weird.

If you want to keep growing, you have to keep moving forward, something that Spotify does very well. Over the last couple of months, the company has filed some new tech patents, including a new karaoke feature (complete with Auto Tune!) and a new high-res system they call 3D Audio. Next up? Something to do with “personality tracking.”

Officially called “methods and systems for personalizing user experience based on personality traits,” the application reads “there is a need for systems and methods for personalizing media content in accordance with one or more personality traits associated with a user.”

Basically, Spotify will build a personality profile unique to you using a questionnaire. Then “the traits measured by the questionnaire may then be used as the possible personality traits that can be assigned to the user. [These] possible personality traits… include the Big Five personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.”

Okay, great. That may make for better and more accurate music recommendations. But this data will no doubt be used to promote other content, including advertising, based exclusively on your personality.

“In some embodiments in which the personalized content includes one or more messages with audio components, the electronic device changes a tone of voice for messages for presentation to the user. For example, the tone of voice may be more upbeat, high-pitched and/or exciting for users that have been assigned the personality trait of extroversion.”

There’s also a research study called Just the Way You Are: Linking on Spotify and Personality which analyzed 17.6 million songs and 662,000 hours of listening time by 5,808 Spotify users in the US over three months. I quote:

 “Given the vast volume of research on the cognitive neuroscience of music and the emerging literature (Peretz & Zatorre, 2012) on the social neuroscience of music (e.g., the role of oxytocin) (Keeler et al., 2015), future research could begin to link streaming behavior with brain scanning, genetic, and physiological data.”

Whoa. A little sci-fi scary, don’t you think? Read more at MBW.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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