Spotify recently registered a new technology to improve the platform’s suggestion system, but in a way that may not please all users. The patent describes a tool that monitors the listener’s voice to offer targeted music and advertisements.
The company applied for the patent in 2018, but did not get approval until mid-January this year. The purpose of the technology is to identify the user’s musical taste by means of “audio signals.”
The system registered by Spotify is able to recognize ambient sounds and the tone of the user’s voice. Using the “metadata”, the platform is able to find out if the listener is sad or happy, alone or accompanied, and indicates content depending on the situation.
Currently, Spotify’s referral system is based on user decisions. If you listen to a certain artist or musical genre, the platform offers you more similar content.
With the new technology, the company has more opportunities to explore when suggesting content. If the user is sad, for example, the app can try to send animated playlists to improve the listener’s mood.
The worrying part is that the system constantly monitors the user’s voice and can also be used to target advertisements. With that in mind, technology can raise concerns and even legal issues related to privacy.
Anyway, the new patent is still only on paper and Spotify is not using the technology in its services. As everything we have so far is just a record, it is not yet possible to confirm when or if the news will be implemented on the music streaming platform.