How does Spotify use Big Data

Big dataWhat Spotify above our Consumer behavior testifies

The Bank of England uses the data from Spotify and Co. to assess the mood in the country. That seems to work pretty well.

Kim Kaivanto is an economist at Lancaster University, UK. His specialty is figuring out how sensations are measurable and can serve as indicators for the economy. And he says: Yes, we can draw conclusions about the mood of a nation via the music streaming services.

"Playlists have potential for informing economists and people who need to know about consumer sentiment about what is really going on in the economy."
Kim Kaivanto, economist

Unlike all data that can be collected through surveys, for example, the playlist information is always up-to-date. There are even differences from week to week and month to month. Data such as the unemployment rate, which are also collected on a monthly basis, can be linked to this. The chief economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, spoke about this data mining in a speech.

Does music reveal how we're doing?

Kim Kaivanto says that the data from the streaming services is so precise that it is only a matter of time before very detailed listener profiles can be created: Whether we are happy or sad, whether we have money or maybe we need a loan - on our own Based on the music or podcasts we listen to. In the article "Your Spotify history could help predict what's going on with the economy" he explains this in more detail.

"This is really fine grained data. And in the future we might be able to identify 50 year old males, such as myself."
Kim Kaivanto, economist

Lutz Fahrenkrog Petersen, music scientist and managing director of the German Research Center for International Pop Culture, thinks this is a bit exaggerated. He doubts that the music he hears allows conclusions to be drawn about the lives of individual people. At most one can roughly categorize.

"You might have platitudes at hand: Those who listen to mainstream pop go shopping at H&M and Zara. Or people who listen to very weird music only buy heavy metal clothing online."
Lutz Fahrenkrog Petersen, music scientist