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17 MARCH 2014

The Pandora Music Genome Project

"We believe that each individual has a unique relationship with music–no one else has tastes exactly like yours. So delivering a great radio experience to each and every listener requires an incredibly broad and deep understanding of music. That's why Pandora is based on the Music Genome Project, the most sophisticated taxonomy of musical information ever collected. It represents over ten years of analysis by our trained team of musicologists, and spans everything from this past Tuesday's new releases all the way back to the Renaissance and Classical music.

Each song in the Music Genome Project is analyzed using up to 450 distinct musical characteristics by a trained music analyst. These attributes capture not only the musical identity of a song, but also the many significant qualities that are relevant to understanding the musical preferences of listeners. The typical music analyst working on the Music Genome Project has a four–year degree in music theory, composition or performance, has passed through a selective screening process and has completed intensive training in the Music Genome's rigorous and precise methodology. To qualify for the work, analysts must have a firm grounding in music theory, including familiarity with a wide range of styles and sounds.

The Music Genome Project's database is built using a methodology that includes the use of precisely defined terminology, a consistent frame of reference, redundant analysis, and ongoing quality control to ensure that data integrity remains reliably high. Pandora does not use machine–listening or other forms of automated data extraction.

The Music Genome Project is updated on a continual basis with the latest releases, emerging artists, and an ever–deepening collection of catalogue titles.

By utilizing the wealth of musicological information stored in the Music Genome Project, Pandora recognizes and responds to each individual's tastes. The result is a much more personalized radio experience – stations that play music you'll love – and nothing else."

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TAGS

analysing dataappeal • attributes • automated data extraction • characteristicsdata analysisdata gathering instruments • data integrity • databasedescriptive labels • ersonalised radio experience • frame of reference • individual preference • individual taste • internet radio • listener preference • machine-listening • metricsmusic • music analyst • Music Genome Project • music taste • music theory • musical characteristicsmusical identitymusical information • musical preferences • musicological information • musicologist • Pandora Radiopersonal taste • precisely terminology • qualities • quality control • radio • radio experience • redundant analysis • relatednesssegmentationsongtaste (sociology)taxonomy • unique taste • user behavioursuser segmentation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 MAY 2011

Market research should focus on emotional need states in all consumers rather than focus on segments as if they are stable and mutually exclusive

"The concept of the USP, as seen by the brand manager, is to focus on one main selling benefit of the brand versus those offered by competitors. The strategic thinking which goes into selecting a brand's USP resembles warfare between competitive brands, with imagery maps reflecting the battlefield, and positioning statements as the weapons. But where is the consumer in all of this?

Consumers do not want one characteristic or one USP. Consumers want it all. Why should a consumer have to choose between the longest lasting pain reliever versus the fast acting, or the safest, most gentle, or the cheapest priced? The concept of marketing a USP is not a consumer–centric view. It is not a realistic, relevant reflection of how consumers operate. Furthermore, a USP for a brand is limiting in appeal by the very definition of trying to sell one main benefit to the sub–segment of consumers which most values that one benefit. Consumers want pain relievers to be fast–acting, and safe, and strong, and inexpensive and more.

The consumers' emphasis on one or more of these benefits changes from occasion to occasion, and from mood to mood. Consumers are not stable, nor consistently rational. Although segmentation research allows us to place consumers into distinct groups, and to put a descriptive label on each person, consumers are not fixed with just the characteristics of the one segment. The reality is all consumers have all emotional needs within them. Some elements/associations are stronger and some are weaker, depending on the person and the day. Our emotional desires fluctuate such that what appeals to one person in one week might be less appropriate for the same person the next week. These fluctuations are hard to target because a population of consumers are all in fluctuation. This is why segmentation research can be so frustrating to market researchers when trying to neatly explain brand behaviors. Unique segments do not uniquely buy just one or two uniquely defined brands. And segments are not stable.

Instead, brand managers should be targeting all consumers with the intention of painting their brand with the emotional associations the brand can satiate. Market research should focus on emotional need states in all consumers rather than focus on segments as if they are stable and mutually exclusive. "

(John Hallward, 2007)

2). excerpt from John Hallward (2007). "Gimme! The Human Nature of Successful Marketing", Wiley

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TAGS

appeal • associations • brandbrand behavioursbrand managercharacteristicscommodity • competitive brands • competitorconsumer • consumer-centric view • descriptive labelsemotional desiresemotional needsemotive manipulationgroupshuman nature • John Hallward • market researchers • market segmentationmarketingpositioning statements • satiate • segmentationsegmentation research • selling • strategic thinkingsub-segment • successful marketing • target audience • unique selling point • unique selling proposition • USP

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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