Picture this: you’re in a restaurant or bar, having a conversation with your family. At least you’re trying to, but something’s bugging you: the music. It’s not because it’s too loud, or in the wrong style, you just don’t like it. After a few moments of trying to ignore it, you reach into your pocket, thinking; “who sings this piece of shit?” What do you do? You Shazam it, because you need to know. You hold up your phone and it tells you who made the audio turd that’s stuck in your ear. Satisfied, you smirk at the screen and think; “of course”. You’ve caught the offender. Congratulations; you’ve just #HateTagged! Can’t stand the song, and now you know who sings it.
A few days go by, and you find the need to tag something good you hear. When you fire up Shazam this time, you see that you’re following the artist you #HateTagged. This is what they’re collecting? We tag and play things for lots of reasons, and not always because we like them.
When my son was three, he became obsessed with the Iron Man Armored Adventures animated series. The theme song was by the band Rooney. I downloaded it into my phone, and we listened to it day in and day out on the way to preschool for close to a year. I was later setting up yet another social music app (cant remember which one, I try everything) and one of the welcome screens said “we see you really like Rooney”. I don’t. I wish I could start over in the digital world, I’d have been a lot more careful with the first iTunes songs I bought.
I know there’s a ton of interest in collecting this kind of data, Spotify snapped up Echonest, Apple splashed out to buy Semetric. Clearly, people see the value in your data. Here’s the thing though; if we’re #HateTagging, entertaining people at our homes with different taste than us, and checking out artists on streaming services we might end up not ever listening to, what’s it really worth?