Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I’m Being Stalked (…by advertisers)!

Confession No.1:  I almost cried when I found out that Pandora doesn’t work outside of the U.S.  In my defense, I was already pretty emotionally vulnerable since my 2,000 word essay was due in less than 24 hours, and I still had no direction.  The idea of tackling all seven pages without my trusty “Classical Music” Pandora station was just unfathomable to me.  

Confession No.2:  I only just got a Spotify account two days ago.  It’s filling the void left by Pandora, and as of now I’m pretty hooked.  My friends weren’t joking when they told me Spotify is better than Pandora.  I found it interesting that all the ads so far have been for British products - such as audio book downloads from audible.  Many of the ads I’ve encountered also are creepily relevant to me.  For example, a lot of the ads have to do with traveling around the U.K.  Maybe Spotify is able to do this because I’ve been “checking in” to various places around Oxford and London on my Facebook for the past few weeks.  

Since I didn’t setup a Spotify account until I got to England, I was wondering if any you guys have been experiencing similar changes to the ads you've encountered on Spotify.  I’m fascinated by the way advertisers are able to tailor ads to our interests by tracking our activity on Facebook, Twitter, and even our Google accounts.  Even on my gmail, I’ve noticed that the ads have been changing.  For example, at home most of the ads have to do with apartment living in Athens.  Now that I’ve been communicating with hostels and such in Europe via email, I’ve noticed ads for various travel deals in Europe.  A little creepy, but SO cool.  


  1. Facebook's Open Graph is an AMAZING resource for advertisers. But hey, I'd rather feel stalked by relevant ads than bothered with ads that I would otherwise never pay attention to. The potential there for marketing folks is unreal. And its only going to get better as Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, etc. all continue to improve their APIs.

  2. p.s. Check out the "" app on spotify. Not sure if it comes with the program, so you may already have it. It'll give you great recommendations based on your listening patterns. So you can get your pandora fix...

  3. I had a Spotify account before I came over here and definitely noticed when the ads shifted from American ads to British ones. On Facebook too some of my ads are still for similar products, but the prices are now displayed in pounds. I think it's interesting that Facebook and advertisers are so close, but really it makes sense since Facebook is a free resource for us to use. It does sometimes scare me how much information about me is being sold to advertisers, but that is the nature of the world we live in. Before we had to worry about our phone numbers and email addresses being passed on to companies after we took part in a survey or signed up for a service, but now all we have to do is let the Internet get to know us in an open forum such as Facebook. I must confess I have been dragged into checking out ModCloth on many occasions, and I appreciate finding that sort of link from Facebook, but as for the "dating website" ads and such because of my single relationship status, I really don't find them appealing. Haha.

  4. I agree about the mentioning of Facebook ads; you know on the sides of the screen that have recommendations about products and services? Mine are always surprisingly accurate, which is indeed scary when you think about how much effort advertisers put in to market products to you. It reminds me that I need to be more aware of what I put onto Facebook and other social networking sites; I guess I just don't like the idea of my information being put out to so many people. But from an advertising standpoint, it's amazing how technology can improve your business; advertisers/marketers everywhere are definitely thanking their lucky stars for the advent of sites such as Facebook and Spotify!