Musically, at least.
This week, Spotify launched a new digital microsite experience it called “Taste Rewind“. The premise is simple – you connect with your Spotify account (or sign up for one, although it lets you through even if you don’t log in or sign up), it asks you to choose three artists you love (from a set of curated artists based on your account), and then it takes a shot at what you would have been listening to in each of the last five decades based on those artists (and gives you links to a playlist of songs from each decade it thinks you would enjoy).
It’s certainly a fun experience, but I do wonder if a couple of things weren’t strategically amiss here:
1) I’m not sure discovery of music you like is Spotify’s strongest feature. I can only speak for myself, but I haven’t found their recommendations (ostensibly based on my current taste) to be terribly good (either that or I’m in denial about the music I listen to, which is also entirely possible). Although ultimately, I don’t suppose this matters as much, since I don’t know how much it matters in terms of driving sign ups (it’s more the access to the vast amount of music than anything else).
2) Their ultimate CTA (to drive awareness through social sharing) was to share THE experience, not yours or my experience, which would seem to make it all about Spotify. Wouldn’t I have been more interested in, and likely to share MY experience?
Why It’s Hot
First, I think it clearly hooked into the social trend around “discovery”. While I hate to reference Buzzfeed quizzes in any fashion, clearly one thing that we’ve seen people really enjoy in social are things that make “predictions” about them based on information they provide (ala Microsoft’s “How Old Do I Look?” or the awful “Who Is Your Soulmate” quiz that recently overtook my News Feed).
Second (and arguably more importantly), I think we could consider it part of what is a broader shift in digital around “people-centric” (personalized) experiences. Not long ago, Microsoft revealed data that suggested a majority of people are now willing to provide information about themselves if it means a better, more interesting, helpful, “intelligent”, etc. experience for them.
We’ve seen digital go from a vast expansive of random content and experiences, to a more curated form taking into account broad trends, and it seems now we’re moving more towards the personalization of digital, where experiences and information are designed around what we know about the people who seek them/it. After all, wouldn’t this be the ideal individual experience?
This isn’t anything new, but with new technology emerging daily to further facilitate it, I think we can expect its trajectory to increase, and it would seem to mean we should be designing digital experiences that are baked to be intelligent.
Now, if you’re wondering, here’s what Spotify thinks I would’ve been listening to in the 80s: