Columbia University researchers know why you chose that playlist

A new study out of Columbia Business School and Bar-Ilan University in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that you prefer the music of artists with personalities similar to your own. In other words, you like yourself.

Researchers studied the public personas of the most famous 50 musicians in the Western world, including Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Whitney Houston, The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, and Ozzy Osbourne. In two studies of over 80,000 participants, they found that the personalities of the musicians correlate with those of their fans. A third study of 4,995 participants showed that fans’ personalities predict their musical preferences as much as other strong predictors like gender, age, and features of the music.

Music shapes cultural interactions between individuals and groups, as well as influence listeners’ thoughts and feelings, so researchers sought out to understand the mechanisms of these interactions.

“The findings can pave the way for new approaches for record companies or music management to target and build audiences,” noted coauthor Sandra Matz, an associate professor of business at Columbia Business School.

Why it’s hot: As marketers, the findings of this study might not come as a surprise to us but is potentially a large driving insight when seeking to understand certain audiences mindsets, cultural influences, and motivators.

Source: FastCo

Alexa sends Spotify listeners Nars samples

Spotify teamed up with cosmetics brand Nars and Dentsu Aegis Network agencies The Story Lab and Vizeum on a voice-activated ad campaign.

The test is a response to the changes in how people shopped for beauty products during the coronavirus pandemic, and it enables shoppers in the U.K. to get blush, lipstick or mascara samples delivered straight to their doors by interacting with a smart speaker.

Nars enlisted the help of voice-activated sampling company Send Me a Sample to enable Spotify listeners to request samples via Alexa or Google Assistant, while The Story Lab and Nars worked with Spotify to deliver ads specifically via smart speakers, encouraging listeners to say, “Ask Send Me a Sample for Nars.”

The campaign started this week and will run for eight weeks.


Spotify U.K. head of sales Rakesh Patel said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Nars and The Story Lab to deliver this innovative voice-activated ad campaign. At Spotify, we know there is huge potential within audio for advertisers, and it’s fantastic that Nars is utilizing the Spotify platform in a new way to get its products into the hands of our shared audiences. We see voice as a huge growth area within the industry, and we’re excited to be able to deliver screen-less advertising solutions for brands.”

The Story Labs senior partnership manager Hannah Scott added, “During the current climate, we have had to adapt our way of engaging with our audience. Delivering samples directly to consumers’ doors is a great workaround and something we hope can add a bit of delight during these times, as the user has a blush, lipstick or mascara sample to choose from. Given that people in lockdown are tuning into their smart speakers more than ever, collaborating with Spotify was the perfect fit.”

Why it’s hot: As smart-speaker usage increases and advertisers continue to pivot to direct-response options during the pandemic, the benefit in interactive audio ads is worth exploring. With most users spending more time than ever at home, smart speakers have seen increased usage. While voice-activated campaigns are not new, the success of this and others like it could give advertisers another performance-driven ad option.
This partnership highlights one important difference between advertising on smart speakers versus advertising on other digital audio platforms — the opportunity to interact with an ad. Opportunities for measurable engagement with interactive audio ads like this may help Spotify and other music streaming companies capitalize on the trend of marketers shifting spend to more performance-driven formats as a result of the broader economic downturn.

Sources: Adweek, eMarketer email briefing

Pandora and the Democratization of Data Analytics

Pandora announced that it will release its new Podcast Analytics feature today, providing podcast hosts with audience information including: where they live, how long they listen, and how they engage with content.

In doing so Pandora is joining competitors Apple and Spotify in providing analytics dashboards to its content producers in a bid to keep them using the platform and help keep listeners engaged.

Why it’s hot: 

Until recently only professional content producers had data into how their content was being purchased, used, and by who–e.g they needed a marketing team to do research. This could impact creative decisions as they chased trends and customers. Now, customer data can continually impact the creative process for non-professional creators. By providing clear KPIs, these tools could shift the type of content that is made.

Spotify’s Wellness Routine

Spotify’s latest addition to curated personalized playlists is meant to aid people who are utilizing the platform for self-care as part of their new routines. Daily Wellness is a combination of songs and short-form podcast episodes that are refreshed twice a day — to ease you into the morning and wind-down at the end of the night.


As with their other “Made For You” playlists, the selection each user sees is based on their listening activity. Spotify also added tracks in between that explain what you’re about to hear, for example, “up next, a few songs for you,” and “now let’s take a break to hear some talk.” This way, the playlist truly feels like an interconnected experience meant to be listened to in order from start to finish to help you cultivate a new routine.

Aside from the rising need for wellness practices, Spotify may have been responding to how users are using the platform differently at this time. They noticed a change in people’s listening habits now that there is no commuting to and from work, noting that looking at the data, “every day looks like the weekend.” There was a decline in listening to longform podcasts in the mornings. They are seeing an uptick in streaming from TVs and game consoles and less from cars and wearables.

Why It’s Hot

For listeners, Daily Wellness is a smart use of personalized content to provide value in an organic way. For Spotify, it’s a good way to become part of their users’ new work from home routines.


Spotify roles out pet playlists

Spotify can now generate playlists for your pets, with a new tool that claims to customize mixtapes to a critters’ species and personality traits.

The music-streaming service announced the feature Wednesday, noting that 71 percent of pet owners already play music for their pets.

The “Pet Playlists” tool allows users to choose between dog, cat, iguana, hamster and bird, then tell the platform how energetic or friendly their animal is to help Spotify “pick the playlist vibe,” the company says.

For instance, a playlist curated for a relaxed, curious and shy cat spits out 30 tracks including The Cure’s “All Cats Are Grey” and “Never Run Away” by lo-fi singer-songwriter Kurt Vile.

Spotify has also launched a podcast called “My Dog’s Favorite Podcast” that’s meant to soothe pups when their owners leave the house.

Sources: CNN Business, NY Post

Why It’s Hot:

Another example of appeal to people’s expanded passions, especially pet owners. Amazon has embraced it with pet profiles, and innovation in the category continues to grow.

#Mute: Soon Spotify Will Let Users Block Problematic Artists

On January 3, an explosive documentary called “Surviving R. Kelly” was released on Lifetime. The six-part series resurfaced decades of abuse allegations against the popular R&B singer and within a weekend, the social media campaign #MuteRKelly was a top trending topic.

But as tweets and Op-Eds put pressure on R. Kelly’s music label to drop him and for police to investigate him, streams of the artist increased 116% after the doc aired.

Streaming services have been caught in the crossfire when problematic artists are allowed to still benefit financially from their art.  Spotify tried and failed to remove R. Kelly from the streaming platform back in 2018 when a Buzzfeed article leveled serious allegations against the singer.  The backlash was swift and Spotify was forced to re-instate Kelly’s catalogue when powerful artists like Kendrick Lamar rallied around the singer.

In the wake of a crop of new allegations and new investigations, what is the responsibility of a music streaming service when an artist becomes problematic?

Spotify’s solution this time, gives the ultimate veto power to its users.

Spotify is about to launch a feature within the app that will allow users to mute artists they don’t wan to hear on the platform.  The feature is currently being tested in the latest iOS version of the app.  The feature will allow a user to block an entire artist from playing.  That means content from a blocked artist will never play from a library, playlist, chart list or even a radio station.  Currently the block feature only works for content by an individual artist, but doesn’t apply to tracks that are collaborations that might feature that artist.

Read More: The Verge

Why Its Hot: In the social media age, a trending hashtag is all it takes to put pressure on brands and businesses.  And increasingly, brands are being asked to use their power to right wrongs, be that removing an ad from a controversial news program as in the case of Fox News host Tucker Carlson, or to remove controversial artists from their platforms.  This solution, if it takes off, may be a way for streaming services to side step having to take a public stand, but in the end give its users the final say over who they want to block…and #Mute.

Image result for lil yachty remote gif

london urges against hollywood showers…

If you thought Americans were the only ones enjoying the heat the dark heart of summer brings, it’s also been particularly warm across the Atlantic in London. So, the London charity Water Aid created this Spotify playlist – “Four Minute Shower Hits” to help the water companies urge Londoners to conserve water during this time. It’s not just a clever name, and all songs are four minutes or slightly less, to help people do their part during the heat wave.

Why it’s hot: 

To accomplish their goal, the UK water companies could have created a much more straightforward and forgettable PSA type ad. Instead, they made something useful, functional, and fun.


Spotify is testing a new voice search feature

Spotify is testing a voice search feature that lets users more quickly access their favorite artists, tracks, albums, and playlists. The feature, which appears based on a 2017 experiment involving a “driving mode,” has begun appearing inside the iOS app for a small number of users.

To access the new voice search feature, you tap the magnifying glass icon at the center of the bottom row of tabs. If you have it, you’ll see a microphone icon inside a white bubble in the lower-right hand corner of the screen.

So far, voice control appears limited to finding music inside inside Spotify’s vast catalog. Ask it “Who are the Beatles?” and it will start playing a Beatles playlist without telling you anything about the band.

Why it’s hot: This is a great step forward for navigation in app that has sometimes requires too much tapping and typing to get where you’re going.

Source: The Verge

Everybody fall in line!

This incisive tweet from type designer James Edmonson of Oh No Type Co looks like a humorous one-liner but is actually a brilliant piece of criticism. In just five words, he summarizes the pervasive tendency towards a visual uniformity that seems to draw in nearly every major tech brand operating today.

Tech company logos

Consider the macro trend of these brands all visually converging alongside the industry’s current mania for design systems. That juxtaposition suggests that we’re far more interested in implementing ideas than we are in ideas themselves.

Put another way, as practitioners of design we’re most comfortable asking questions like “How do we implement our brand’s design language, propagate and scale it, and make sure it’s consistent?” We’re much less comfortable asking questions like, “What’s the larger context for the brand we’re building?


Why it’s hot
This post raises valid questions in the age where digital design in general trends towards uniformity over expression.

Spotify’s Wrapped feature is awesome

Spotify’s annual Wrapped feature is now up to give users insights into what they streamed over the past twelve months. Wrapped, which replaced Spotify’s personalized Year in Music feature last year, tells you the amount of time you spent streaming music in 2016 and how many songs and artists you listened to. Then it quizzes you to see how well you know your own listening habits before making a personalized playlist of 30 songs you might have missed this year. (check it out:

Why it’s hot: Yet another way that Spotify is leveraging user data for audience engagement. This is a bit of a step up from their ‘year in review’ in-app experience, and they are providing an extra value add at the end. They are showing you 30 new songs that you might not know of yet, and proving how well they know you and your taste. Could they get any better?!

Bonus: Un-related, fun, Friday Instagram post that you never knew you needed. Enjoy.

This is my favorite thing I’ve ever read. Swipe left and tell me which dish you’d make. (@prozacmorris_)

A post shared by Sloane Steel (@iamsloanesteel) on


Spotify Back At It With OOH

Spotify has some suggestions for your New Years Resolutions.

They take the same out of home campaign approach as last year and turn user data into pithy headlines. This year’s approach is positioned as ‘2018 goals’, with the ads highlighting ‘winning’ behavior from 2017. Here are a few examples:

The campaign also includes life-size cutouts in NYC, LA and Miami that feature artists, in which passerby will be able to stick their heads for a photo.

Why it’s hot: This is another example of Spotify leveraging user data in a fun and unexpected way that capture the essence of their audience.

Source: Adweek

Spotify’s Spoopy Things

Spotify and Stranger Things teamed up to flip your world upside down. Since season one was so groovy, Spotify swooped in making sure we’d be bopping to the most tubular tunes while anticipating the release of season 2 (out now on Netflix!!). With just a few clicks, a character playlist is generated based on your listening habits. I got Steve’s playlist, while I wasn’t thrilled with the character pairing, Everybody Wants To Rule The World started playing and suddenly I wasn’t so mad at it anymore. Check out the site here: Spotify x Stranger Things. You can get a recommended playlist even if you don’t link your account!

Like, it’s totally radical, I couldn’t have thought of something more wicked. 
They even had this grody feature turning Spotify into the Demogorgon’s Upside Down!
Why It’s Hot: Because things could’ve been stranger but it’s finally time to grab those eggos and enjoy (binging) season 2!


Spotify for Artists

Spotify For Artists is an app launching this week that gives musicians and their managers mobile access to super-detailed analytics about their music and the people listening to it.

The Spotify For Artists app takes some of the most useful insights about an artist’s music—which songs are most popular, how many streams they’re getting over all, where those listeners live, and which playlists are helping win over new fans—and boils them down into digestible graphical charts. It’s a bit like Google Analytics for rappers, electronic DJs, and pop stars.

This isn’t the first time Spotify has made this kind of data available. Spotify For Artists is a product that first launched on the web in April, after a private beta period. First, Spotify opened it up to all artists (the first big, on-demand streaming app of its kind to do so). Now it’s letting them access it on their phones.

The app also gives artists some control over their presence on Spotify, allowing them to do things like update their bios, post playlists, and select the “artist’s pick” track that Spotify lets them display on their profiles.

Spotify For Artists is part of a broader effort to build more artist-facing tools and ’empower’ them. The company also started a program called Fans First, which uses data to detect the most obsessive listeners of a given artist and target them with special offers like pre-sale concert tickets or exclusive merchandise. The company has also been working harder to strengthen its relationships within the music industry and among artists, in part by hiring former Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter.

Why it’s hot: This is yet another way in which Spotify is leveraging their data in an interesting and unexpected way. It is great to see them making it readily available for artists who can benefit from knowing more about their core users. Additionally, making it available on a mobile app vs. just desktop (as they launched in April) makes this an even more accessible and useful tool to the music industry.

Source: FastCo

Pop music’s new producer? Streaming platforms…

Hit-making songwriters and producers are tailoring tracks to fit a musical landscape dominated by streaming.“In sessions, people have genuinely been saying, ‘Oh, we need to make something that sounds like Spotify,’” says Emily Warren, a singer-songwriter behind hits including Charli XCX’s “Boys” and the Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down.” According to the artists, songwriters, producers, and executives interviewed for this piece, no aspect of a song, from production to vocal performance, is unaffected by the regime change.


Throughout the history of recorded music, formats have helped shape what we hear. For examplesur ideas about how long a single should be date back to what could fit on a 45 RPM 7″ vinyl record. But the unprecedented wealth of data that streaming services use to curate their increasingly influential playlists gives the industry real-time feedback on what’s working, leading to rigidly defined and formulaic music.

For example, in order for a stream to count toward chart tallies and, reportedly, for royalty payouts, a given song must be played for at least 30 seconds. That’s why, while how a song starts has always been important in pop, with streaming it’s more crucial than ever. Another element tying the streaming era’s music together is the way we listen to it: The phones and laptop speakers we often use can have a direct impact on the music that sounds best through them.

Read more here: Uncovering How Streaming Is Changing the Sound of Pop

Why It’s Hot
How technology advancements are shaping behaviors and expectations is always fascinating. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction!

Slow down baby, this is too fast…

Arteris, a road operator from Brazil released Speed-O-Track, an app that encourages drivers to obey the speed limit by messing up their music.

When a driver breaks the speed limit, the app increases the tempo of the music being played on Spotify. It does this by connecting to Google Maps data to identify the speed limit and distorts accordingly.


Granted, the benefits of this largely depend on people downloading the app. To encourage this, Arteris has offered a free month’s subscription to Spotify to the first 500 people who download the app.

Why It’s Hot

  • It’s an example of a brand developing tech that fits nicely with their business objectives while solving a problem for their customers
  • It came up with a nice solve to encourage adaption
  • Instead of building tech from scratch, it layered on to existing platforms, once again demonstrating we don’t have reinvent the wheel to develop something groundbreaking.


Spotify keeps on rocking with partnership

There’s always one song that brings back memories of a really great holiday. This intrinsic link between music and travel is the idea behind’s new partnership with Spotify. And according to data, a large percentage of consumers are also Spotify users, meaning the collaboration appears to be a win-win for both brands.

The partners are producing a series of interactive maps, playlists and podcasts – each one linked to 10 different destinations.



Each city is broken down by area, with playlists bringing to life the distinct sounds of each one. For instance, East London’s playlist includes songs by local artists like Dizzee Rascal and Katy B. Alongside this, the campaign will include a series of podcasts, each featuring an international artist giving insight into the music scene of their home city. And each user will receive personalized recommendations aligned to their music and travel tastes.

Why It’s Hot
Spotify continues to set the bar for leveraging data in meaningful ways to deepen relationships with customers.

This Playlist Brought To You By…

Spotify’s new Sponsored Playlists will allow brands to sponsor playlists on the platform that reach a specific target audience based on their campaign objectives. For instance, a brand launching a new breakfast menu could sponsor a “Morning Commute” playlist.

The new ad units include logo placement and rights to the first ad break in the free version of the streaming service. Sponsored Playlists can be supported with both branded and native promotions within the playlist. The feature is currently in beta testing, but Kia (which recently sponsored a New Music Friday playlist) doubled campaign benchmarks on the platform.

Here’s how it works!

Why It’s Hot: Sponsoring Branded Playlists gives brands an opportunity to find unique ways to connect with consumers in a contextual, as well as emotional, way through the power of music. However, the target is limited to those who use the free version of the service. While these consumers are used to hearing ads in playlists, it will be interesting to see what the reactions are to more branded content on the platform.


Spotify Will Now Let Brands Sponsor the Most Popular Playlists

Spotify Puts You In Touch with Your 80s Self…

Spotify Rewind

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:Taste Rewind 80s

A Sign That Tidal is Toast: Kanye’s Deleting His Tweets

Just a month after its high-profile announcement, the music streaming service Tidal has not been the overwhelming success that Jay Z may had hoped for. Priced at twice the cost of Spotify, and with a fraction of the library, who could have imagined such a service would flop?

Kanye sure didn’t, but now everyone’s favorite rapper/fashionista/ego-maniac is now trying to put distance between himself and streaming service: starting with his Twitter feed.

BGR reports that Kanye has purged his feed from any mention of the service, and changed his profile photo from the Tidal logo to an old album cover.

A Twitter breadcrumb.

A Twitter breadcrumb.

We’ll see if Tidal can turn it around or whether more artists start turning their backs.

Why It’s Hot

Kanye’s swift turnaround is showing how critical success needs to be when pairing branded launches with celebrity endorsement. Influencers like Kanye depend on maintaining credibility with the publicity they create; if a product fails, or a launch is botched, their image is at risk. Kanye is just an example for how new media habits are changing with promotions online, and the importance that “getting it right” really has to maintaining advocates. Even your biggest supports will abandon you quickly.

Source: BGR

Spotify Debuts Playlist Targeting

Spotify has just announced the debut of a new targeting method: playlist targeting. More specifically, marketers can target the labels of 1.5B+ playlists that have been curated by Spotify or built by users. With this quantity of playlists available, and given the pervasive specificity of playlist labels, marketers can now target consumers during their “morning run” or while “studying” for finals, at scale!

When playlist targeting is used in combination with other forms of targeting that Spotify already offers, a marketer can reach a consumer in specific moods or while pursuing certain activities, with a relevant message, across devices, throughout the day. In other words, the marketer can reach target consumers with accuracy at desired touch-points, to develop a story over time.


For example, a marketer could deliver a message, via mobile, to someone who is “commuting” to work in the morning and then deliver another message to the same person, while on “lunch break” and listening to music on his desktop.

Why It’s Hot: Though we have countless options for targeting audiences, Spotify’s ability to reach people who have declared through their playlist name that they are in a specific mood or engaged in a specific activity is pretty unique!

TIDAL: New High-Def Music Streaming Service

On Monday afternoon, celebs such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Madonna, Rhianna, Chris Martin and Nikki Minaj (just to name a few) gathered to announce the re-launch of TIDAL, a music streaming service. TIDAL is a high-definition streaming service that will compete with services such as Pandora and Spotify. Jay-Z is the majority owner while the other artists on stage all have small stakes in the company as well.

Unlike other music streaming services, there is no free tier for subscription. Therefore, we can assume there will be no disruptive ads on the platform as we see with other free streaming memberships, however this has not yet been confirmed. For TIDAL, users will have to pay $10/month or $20/month depending on the quality of music they prefer. Additionally, the player is available as both a website and an app (no desktop player) and can stream to a number of speaker systems. An added bonus – Tidal will offer the ability to save songs for listening without an Internet connection.

Another edge that TIDAL may have is the releasing of exclusive content and invitation to special events for paying members.

Why It’s Hot

With the domination of streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify, we haven’t seen a potential game changer enter the market in a long time. The switch of focus from price to quality enables the brand to position itself as premium and perhaps not truly in competition with any other services. Next, having people with star power backing this service is major. For example, celebs that have had constant battles with streaming services may actually volunteer to have their music on Tidal. If this is true, we could see both artists that are stakeholders in Tidal or support its mission, releasing exclusive content (perhaps even entire albums) on the service. If Tidal can convince artists to do this, they could gain a huge advantage over competitors.

Read more here.

Best In Class Mobile Campaigns

Last year, Nivea Sun Kids combined their print ad with its mobile app and an interesting idea to create brand buzz in Brazil. The brand placed a removable bracelet that was embedded with Bluetooth 4.0 technology in its print ad. The ad, which appeared in Brazilian publications, prompted parents to place the bracelet on their kid’s wrists. The parent would then download the Nivea app to set the maximum distance their child could go. Once the child went further than this distance, the app would alert the parent.

Why It’s Hot: The app served a real need for its target consumers, parents on the beach. It enabled parents to be able to hang out on the beach while their children played in close proximity. Ultimately, it was an original way to get consumers to willingly download the Nivea app. (62 percent increase in sales in Rio de Janeiro. Eight of every 10 people impacted by the ad downloaded the app.)

Adidas + Spotify

Adidas paired with Spotify and the Runkeeper app to provide exclusive branded playlists to app users. The playlists adapted to the intensity of the runners’ workouts.

Why it’s hot: This tactic worked due to its creativity, execution and functionality. The campaign drove more than 250,000 unique users to an Adidas hub on Spotify in just four weeks.


Google’s Mobile Ads

The brand strategically placed ads around 12 NYC landmarks, which invited consumers to ask Google’s voice-responsive mobile app interesting NYC-related questions. The app would then reply with the correct answer.

Why It’s Hot: The ads were non-intrusive and instead enticed users to want to download the app. Its hyper-local activation positions Google as a tool for personal discovery and everyday use, emphasizing the difference between Google’s voice tool compared to others.


Uber and Spotify partner up

Uber riders can now blast tunes from Spotify during their commute. After hailing a car via the handy app, you can decide what music you’re in the mood for, and when the car arrives to pick you up, it’ll already be playing inside. You’ll need to connect that paid streaming account inside Uber’s mobile software to opt in, but doing so not only sets the music beforehand, but allows you to control it for the duration of the trip. The collaborative effort is set to launch on November 21st in London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Toronto and Sydney with a widespread rollout in the weeks that follow. Of course, the driver will need to connect their phone to the car’s stereo for you to take advantage, but Uber says those folks are excited about sorting your playlists. If the car you hail chooses not to play music, the option to play Spotify won’t show up in the Uber app.

Source: engadget

Why It’s Hot

Could Uber be more cool? They certainly are looking at their audience and developing pretty awesome initiatives, from partnerships with Starbucks and Amex, to stunts like UberWEDDING and UberKITTENS. In this case, it’s just a little more added value into an already sound pricing and convenience strategy.

Is YouTube Music For Real?

There have long been rumors that Google plans to launch a separate music subscription service, and it looks like those plans have finally come together.  Google is already running a Spotify-like music subscription service called “Google Play”, but there have been a number of reports that they plan to sell music subscriptions through YouTube as well.


Why it’s Hot  

It could be a category changer.

The big questions are: 1) Who will win over the small percentage of US consumers that are willing to “pay” for their music?  Pandora, Spotify, Soundcloud, Muve, iTunes, Vevo, Amazon, and/or Google? 2) What does this mean for advertisers?  Only time will tell!

Sources. Read more here and here.