Pandora Says I Am "Likely" To Vote Democrat
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Last comment by sebekm 8 months ago.

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Obviously they're wrong, but their methodology was exposed in an article posted yesterday at The title of the article is "Pandora Knows How You'll Vote, and It's Not Keeping Your Secret," and I thought it was an interesting read. I've posted this blog under "arts/entertainment," but it obviously smacks of politics as well. Here's the article in its entirety:

"Pandora Knows How You'll Vote, and It's Not Keeping Your Secret

The online music service is telling campaigns what music you listen to, which they say gives away your party affiliation.

Sick of campaign ads on the radio? Don't plan on turning to Pandora to get a break from this fall's election-commercial frenzy.

The music streaming service announced last week it is launching targeted advertising—allowing candidates to reach voters based on age, location, and music preference. According to Pandora, that information can tell with 75-80 percent accuracy how a person will vote.

"What we're trying to do is make it so that the targeting that's selected by these campaigns is ... reaching the right groups," said Pandora's Jack Krawczyk. The company's advertising system weights its results based on users' ZIP codes; an area that voted 60 percent for Obama will have that factored into its residents' voting probabilities.

Then Pandora looks at your music. Listen to a lot of country? You're probably a strong Republican voter. Prefer jazz? You likely vote Democrat. Classic rock or hip-hop? Well, you're a little harder to pin down—but that might be just what ad-makers are looking for.

Pandora is the latest content provider to try to cash in on political operatives' desire for precision messaging. DirecTV and Dish Network are offering "addressable advertising" for statewide campaigns, allowing candidates to tailor a message down to the neighborhood level.

But just because an algorithm thinks it knows how you'll vote, do you really want to get bombarded with campaign ads for your (probable) candidate of choice? Do you lay off the hip-hop so the computer doesn't identify you as a coveted swing voter?

It's not that Pandora hasn't played host to campaign ads before. But the voter targeting makes it more likely campaigns will look to it as a worthwhile advertising investment. The more a campaign knows about you, the harder it's willing to work to pursue your vote—more knowledge gives operatives a better idea of where they're investing their money.

So while it might be frustrating to have your demographics put you in a campaign's crosshairs, it's quite lucrative for Pandora. "The more you reduce the risk that you're not hitting the right audience, the higher the willingness to pay," Krawczyk said.

Another possibility—at least according to one campaign operative who has worked with Pandora—is rolling out ad campaigns when artists endorse politicians. For example, in the unlikely event Katy Perry endorsed Mitch McConnell, you might want to steer clear of her music unless you wanted to be bombarded with his campaign ads. You might also find it difficult to listen to Clay Aiken without hearing ads for, well, Clay Aiken.

No matter how annoying targeted ads get for you, they're a smarter buy for campaigns and money in the pockets of content providers. So expect to see more, not less, of them in 2014 and beyond.

Still, Krawczyk pledged to take user feedback into account as Pandora rolls out its campaign offerings. "We're always monitoring the effect of our our ad load," he said. "If we saw that there's anything that's driving away listening behavior, then we would certainly act accordingly.""


Latest Activity: Feb 20, 2014 at 5:56 PM

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PoliticsNation commented on Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:11 PM

I heard the story on NPR. They base their findings on the music you listen to. I think your on the fence. Stop drinking the Long Island Ice Tea and come on over to the free side...

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:22 PM

Yes, please do Sebe. I promise not to lace your beverage with any foreign substance.

sebekm commented on Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 16:58 PM

I am on the free side. And actually, if you read the post above, THEY DO based their findings on the music you listen to. It says that throughout my blog post. I know you don't read my political blogs which point out the deficiencies of the Obama administration. That's you're privilege. But you ought to read the other ones. I do read yours.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 17:16 PM

I try to read EXERYTHING you write here, Sebe. Really. You seem to be very consistent in expressing your views and I admire that. Now, it is no secret that I do NOT agree with all of 'em and sometimes view some of 'em in a negative light. You are a good expressionist of the Center-right. PN, in my view, is an excellent expressionist of those who find our side on the LEFT. I am not trying to be patronizing here even tho it may look that way.

Tot is an expressionist of the uneducated National Socialist Right on training wheels. He needs to be isolated and studied.

Such is the nature of our sandbox. All but one if us possess the capability to LEARN from all of the other ones. Except for one.

Over and Out

sebekm commented on Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 23:03 PM

God Bless Us, Every One.

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