The Echo Nest, a “music intelligence” company whose technology powers recommendations in services like Rdio and Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio, is now looking to help partners make money from advertising as well.
CEO Jim Lucchese argued that while music apps can become much more personalized, the ads running in those apps remains stuck in the broadcast model, targeting audiences at the most general level.
“Now that music is personalized and online, versus broadcast, we can move from a dozen radio formats … to basically packaging audiences and targeting them,” he said. “We see ourselves becoming the engine to enable that.”
The company says it can currently predict audiences’ age, gender, and affinity for 20 lifestyle categories (foodies, gamers, etc.). Ultimately, the goal is to allow music services and networks to charge more for ads by giving advertisers more audience data and better targeting. Lucchese said this could also power new approaches to advertising — as examples, he pointed to the branded music apps that The Echo Nest has already helped create, like Microsoft’s MixShape.