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You can’t get much better than Spotify – some would even argue that it’s the patron saint of music, streaming here to rescue us all. The freemium business model has allowed users from across the world to access its extensive catalogue of songs and podcasts by simply registering their details. But is it as simple as we all think? Or is there a much bigger cost at hand?
Corporations that offer something for free always want something in return. As the most used audio streaming service in existence, boasting 356 million users, they have a staggering amount of data at their disposal.
Provide, personalize, and improve your experience with the Spotify Service.
We’re not saying that the type of data Spotify collects is bad. For years, companies of all sizes have followed our digital footprints! It’s something that we’ve all become used to. Brands like this use data to outline our behaviour patterns and target us with advertisements. However, it’s crucial that you understand the information platforms like this utilise.
But before we get started, it’s important to understand why Spotify collects data. As a business, they want to “provide, personalize, and improve your experience with the Spotify Service.”
Brands as big as Spotify have a duty to be transparent with their customers when it comes to data. To achieve this and align with legislation across the world, Spotify allows its users to download it. If users choose to do this, they will find that it is split up into 12 key areas.
Remember when we mentioned that big corporations like Spotify always want something in return? Meet Spotify Advertising. If you’re a non-premium member of the app, you will be far too familiar with this. Using the data collected above, Spotify offers brands the ability to advertise to target users with their marketing campaigns. While this is nothing new in the world of advertising, it’s important to be aware of how they do this.
Similarly, to other platforms like Facebook, advertisers can reach people based on their age, gender, and location. Spotify works with advertising partners to share data and work out your interests and preferences. They can show advertising based on your current mood and activity, just by the genre and type of music you are listening to. For example, the selection of advertising that you see when relaxing to your romance playlist will differ from the playlist that you are working out to.
Spotify Wrapped is an example of how a company can conduct in-depth surveillance of our personal behavior over a long period of time and package it as a fun feature that we want to share with others. https://t.co/lY3yZwDl48
— CNN (@CNN) December 3, 2021
Like with many applications today, hidden in the settings of the platform you can limit this. To access these, users need to log in through the desktop app and account page. These are some of the settings that users can switch off:
Over the last few years, Spotify has truly taken on a life of its own. From Spotify Wrapped outing you for listening to Taylor Swift way more than you’d ever admit to it becoming the feature that brings your entire Tinder profile together.