In 2018, Spotify filed a patent whereby could use information from user conversations and background noise to determine different patterns. Based on analyzing this information, Spotify might recommend music, a podcast, or even adjust the advertising and announcements that users hear.
The patent was approved on January 12, 2021 and really caught the attention of all the media. Going into the detail of the patent content, it shows potential use cases for this unique technology. The most interesting part is the possibility that Spotify should get the user’s intonation, stress, rhythm, and other aspects of speech to determine their emotional state, gender, age, and even accent from them.
The implementation of this technology could allow Spotify to improve its advertising system and deliver advertisements more relevant to users and their current situation. The patent also mentions the possibility of even differentiating the user’s environment, of being able to identify themselves even if they are alone or with a group of people. Obtaining this voice information would be done through the user’s metadata, and not through its direct recording, which would go through a Markov model to obtain the conclusions.
It is not yet certain that Spotify will implement all of the technology described by the patent.. We already know that technology companies generally file many patents that do not materialize afterwards (Apple among them and very frequently). When Pitchfork Media reached out to Spotify for comment on the patent, they commented on the following:
Spotify has filed for patents for hundreds of inventions and we regularly fill out new applications. Some of these patents we incorporate in future products while others never see the light of day. Our ambition is to create the best audio experience, but we have no news we can give you at this time.
Without a doubt a patent that will give a lot to say if Spotify finally decides to implement this technology. Despite “not registering” the user directly, the privacy of users and the collection of their data are again in question and, as almost always, so that a business can profit at its expense.