Perceptive music and beyond

Pet Shop Boys at the Brits 2009

Media relies on the ability to engineer peoples emotions. This can sound pretty bad but all media from romantic comedies made for cinema to the old classics from Shakespeare. The effect of media and ultimately storytelling has always fascinated me and I’m sure its the same for most people. Its hardwired in to us as Jason Silva puts it.

The ability to engineer someone’s emotions is interesting from a story point of view. However if you add broadcast, you can do this to a nation or the whole world. But like the 10% of any audience, which are highly suggestible, how do you reach the others?

A 600,000 person study Facebook and Cornell University did a while back but recently came to light might have a clue about how. However there has been a major push-back on the study for ethical reasons.

Facebook’s controversial study that manipulated users’ newsfeeds was not pre-approved by Cornell University’s ethics board, and Facebook may not have had “implied” user permission to conduct the study as researchers previously claimed.

Starting from a different place is disclaimer to say I may be working with this Manchester based startup in the near future, but only because their technology is mind blowing), tracks and follows the users media habits. It watches as you choose songs (bit like scobbling apps like when you pick them and records the context of when. Like certain types of song when your going for a ride to work on a sunny day.

Our proprietary algorithm, contextual database, analytics, understanding of and expertise in media, technology and user behaviour. Highly relevant, hyper-personal, socially integrated, context driven mobile experiences for consumers and unrivalled contextual consumer data for commercial organisations.

A while ago we pitched a project loosely called In Tune at the BBC Radio One Connected Studio which we felt was very credible but unfortunately the judges disagreed. Maybe it was the way we pitched it but there was a lot of doubt we had the data to do what we planning to do.

I have seen first hand the data points and been amazed at what patterns of activity our music listening can reveal about ourselves. Imagine what you could do if you were have access to that data and could engineer the music and therefore the experience?

Interestingly Google is getting in on the idea as they recently bought Songza.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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