How Spotify analyzed brain activity to improve its ad experience

Neuromarketing, a field that makes use of studies and research into the human mind, thoughts, feelings and experiences to design better products, increase sales as well as enhance the marketability of organizations has been gaining momentum. It involves developing an understanding of consumer needs by applying the techniques of neuroscience. While some techniques such as EEG, fMRI and the like are used to directly measure brain activity corresponding to specific functions, other tools include eye tracking and biometric data measurement.

Neuromarketing requires a good amount of investment. However, it is worth the expense since, in comparison to traditional forms of data collection, such as questionnaires and surveys, it directly collects information from the subconscious, a prime source of human decision-making. Moreover, manipulation of data is less likely using this method and it establishes a far better emotional connection with the audience. PepsiCo, Hyundai, Yahoo and eBay are some of the well-known organizations that have used neuromarketing. Spotify, the leading audio streaming platform has joined the list by recently collaborating with the neuro analytics company Neuro-Insight to conduct a brain wave study.

How was it conducted?

The study was based on the experience of 600 participants who listened to multiple genres of music, ranging from rap, pop, Latin, etc. Audio digital ads were allowed to play in between. Brain activity was measured by researchers using a brain tracking method known as Steady State Topography (SST). According to its developer, Richard Silberstein, founder of Neuro-Insight, It not only measures an individual’s speed of response to stimuli but also helps in understanding psychological processes by analyzing the speed of various brain sensitively.

What were the results?

  1. Emotional intensity can be increased by using digital audio since it keeps the long-term memory active and engaged in the process of searching for details and memories.
  2. The genre of music determines its impact on the brain. Rap music, which is driven by speech, tends to bring about more engagement. On the other hand, genres such as instrumental and rock produce more emotional attachment.  
  3. About 93 percent of the brain’s capacity to engage with the music or podcast impacts the engagement with ads. This was a particularly noteworthy aspect for Spotify, an ad-driven platform and can serve other similar platforms in the future.

Jon Gibs, who is the principal data scientist and global director at Spotify, reported that this study was conducted to ensure that Spotify serves content that aligns with the interests of the consumer. He believes that through Neuromarketing, brands can get good insights into a consumer’s thought process as they consume multiple types of media. Samrat Saran, who is the head of client solutions at Neuro-Insight, said that this study would enable them to determine Spotify’s efficiency as an ad-driven platform.

This study provided some valuable insights which can be very helpful to plenty of content creating and streaming platforms. Advertisers are always looking for customer-friendly platforms and through such studies, user experience can be optimized in such a way that more investors would be attracted to pitch in, which would, in turn, generate better revenues and services. Even though Neuromarketing is not yet widely used, it has the potential to transform the future of marketing.

Attraction

Ever thought why do we get attract to someone? Well everyone has different answer to it. For some it can be the way one look, smiled, walk or may be their was an unusual aura around that one.

What is attraction?

Attraction, especially in a romantic way, is a complex process that take place in our brains, and has had it’s roots since it’s beginning of the humankind. It’s our minds way of telling us who has the potential to be our partner, our friend, or even our soulmate, and is based on a complex blend of our interest, values, experience, and desire. Physical and romantic attraction, which are often focused on, are only small facets of a much larger equation.

Psychologist look at the ingredients of attraction is in a form of pyramid, split into 4 different sections.

The base of the pyramid is made up of health and status:-

  • Status – 1. internal (confidence, self set, beliefs) 2. External (person’s job, possession and appearance.
  • Health – Physical attributes, smell, basic level of intelligence.

If the potential partners passes these initial requirements then we move to the center of the pyramid, which are the emotional factors:- includes

  • trust comfort someone wants,
  • their emotions intelligence, and
  • unique characteristics.

The final portion of the pyramid is “Logic”.This is the part that differentiate us from other animals, and is the part where our brains seriously

  • considers whether we are totally compatible for that person.
  • It ensure that the other person is aligned with us in term of what they want – things such as marriage, children, even the city they want to live.

According to this model, the more alignment there is, the more attraction there is, but it doesn’t always have to follow from bottom to top – like online dating.

What makes someone Attractive?

The answer to this questions make come to our mind is physical traits. Due to the influence of media, we tend to favor women who is younger, and more feminine features, in men on the other side, qualities such as broad shoulders, a deep voice, and strong jawline are highly upon.

Scientists suggest that, these also have an evolutionary origin because these traits are associated with a higher chance of producing health offspring and passing of good genes. Also, values, culture, and the environment, that we grow in also plays an important role.

Hence, attractiveness is complex, there’s a number of different perspective to consider, and at the end of the day, there’s very little we can choosing who we are attracted to. As each person looks for unique set of traits and, while physical traits are often focused there are far more factors that come into play. A person’s upbringing, behavior and even lifestyle have major influence. The most important thing to remember is to be happy and make the most of it.

Music & Brain

I bet we all love listening music.  But do we know how music affects our brain physiologically.

We all know our brain is divided into left and right hemispheres. Our left brain deals with logics and facts in contrast, our right brain deals with creativity and art.

Various researches showed that our right brain is responsible to process music. Also, if the right side of the brain gets damaged it directly leads to the impairment of rhythm and pitch and thus, the ability to comprehend music is destroyed.

Also, another interesting study showed that when we think about a song or when we are recalling the rhythm and lyrics of a song without humming or singing it at that particular time our right brain was more activated than the left brain.

So, does it mean that left side of our brain does not play any role in understanding music or else?

The answer is no.

Actually, for processing music both hemispheres of brain and hippocampus plays a vital role.

 Scientists have proved that how

Minor chords when played makes a person sad and when Major chords are played that makes the person happy.

And, musicians use this concept to make music accordingly.

Also, even hospitals appoint music therapists to treat patients.

And it is clinically proven that music therapy helps Parkinson’s patients, children with autism, improve sleeping patterns and reduces the effects of dementia in older people.

Researchers have also found how listening to music releases dopamine which is a happy hormone.

So, everybody keep listening to music and be happy.