@ratpie: Pricing Music Fans in the New Data Economy

I’ve been banging the drum about “non-display uses” of data scraped from fans we send to YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, etc., data that is sold but for which we are never compensated.  The thought of compensating artists–even for selling the artist’s own name as a keyword–is a shocking thought to data herders and equally shocking to the artists who haven’t understood that it is happening.

If they don’t understand the intrinsic value of music, perhaps we should try speaking to them in language they are capable of processing.  Paul Sanders’s article explores this idea.

Facebook Artist Names
How Facebook sells artist data and actual artist names

To the apps you use and the websites you visit on that journey you are now an identity and a cluster of data points, all derived from your stored preferences and histories, your digital fact pack, and your recent behaviour. Like a magnet being dragged through iron filings, these tiny packages of data stick to your profile, and are used to select new content to show you, to build your ideal music playlist, and to add value to your attention as your presence is sold to advertisers. The terms and conditions and privacy policies of music apps make this very clear. Here’s Pandora’s privacy policy, which sets this out in detail.

Those apps and websites extend what Amazon was doing over a decade ago, and offer the new data they generate from your activity to other apps and websites in complex and dynamic marketplaces, where content and profiles are mixed and matched with marketing messages. It is in those marketplaces – some familiar names, such as Google and Facebook, many essentially invisible to the people they are tracking and selling – that music fans are priced and sold.

Read the post on Paul Sanders’ Ratpie.org

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