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Culture

Spotify brilliantly reveals your dirty secrets

Technically Incorrect: In a new billboard campaign, the streaming service shows what people are actually listening to. No, really.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


There are surely excellent answers.

Spotify

Have you had enough of 2016? Spotify has. It's been a little too weird for its taste.

And talking of taste, the streaming service decided to reveal a little of yours, culled from its fine data services.

In a new billboard campaign that hums information and revelation in perfect harmony, Spotify offers some (presumably) real details about the inner ear of its users.

For example, this: "Dear person who made a playlist called: 'One Night Stand With Jeb Bush Like He's a Bond Girl in a European Casino.' We have so many questions."

What might those questions be? Perhaps "Would you prefer Jeb Bush as president-elect, even if he started behaving like a Bond Girl in a European Casino?"

Another ad muses: "To the 1,235 guys who loved the "Girls Night" playlist this year, We love you."

How about this: "2016's ALL CAPS ALL STARS. ZAYN. DNCE. D.R.A.M. ZHU. This email from your mom: FW: FW :FW: FW: LISTERIA OUTBREAK."

Perhaps my favorite is: "Dear person who played 'Sorry' 42 times on Valentine's Day, What did you do?"

Some of the ads are geared very much to local habits. This one will surely amuse New York: "To the person in NoLita who started listening to holiday music way back in June. You really jingle all the way, huh?'

Seth Farbman, Spotify's chief marketing officer, told Creativity: "There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head. For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing."

It's a while since I heard "data" and "creativity" in a sentence that didn't inspire my bile juices to request asylum.

Spotify doesn't advertise much, yet it still enjoys 40 million subscribers to Apple Music's 17 million, so perhaps it doesn't feel the need.

After all, its Apple rival has spent vast amounts on TV advertising featuring seemingly every imaginable star, yet doesn't appear to be denting Spotify's bond with its users.

These ads show that it takes a certain wit and simplicity to connect with human emotions. Real ones.

The tagline to it all is "Thanks, 2016. It's been weird." I fancy 2017 will be even weirder. I hope that Spotify will continue these ads so that we can all realize how weird we've become.

We really want to know the answer, don't we?

Spotify

You didn't know that, did you?

Spotify