SXSW Music 2014

The Predictive Power of Music

Music taste is extremely personal and an important part of defining and communicating who we are.

Musical Identity, understanding who you are as a music fan and what that says about you, has always been a powerful indicator of other things about you. Broadcast radio’s formats (Urban, Hot A/C, Pop, and so on) are based on the premise that a certain type of music attracts a certain type of person. However, the broadcast version of Musical Identity is a blunt instrument, grouping millions of people into about 12 audience segments. Now that music has become a two-way conversation online, Musical Identity can become considerably more precise, powerful, and predictive.

In this talk, we’ll look at why music is one of the strongest predictors and how music preference can be used to make predictions about your taste in other forms of entertainment (books, movies, games, etc).

Share this idea

Related Media

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How does The Echo Nest’s unique Taste Profiling technology work and what can it uncover about the relationship between one’s taste in music and one’s taste in movies?
  2. If we knew someone’s movie preference, can we build a better music playlist for them? Or can we help you choose a movie by knowing more about your music taste?
  3. How are online music services applying an understanding of your music taste to create smarter, more intuitive online experiences?
  4. What else does your music taste tell us about you? Can it predict your age, your gender, your politics?
  5. What is it about music that makes it the strongest predictor of other forms of entertainment?



Brian Whitman, Co-Founder and CTO, The Echo Nest

Meta Information:

  • Event: Music
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Technology
  • Track 2
  • Level:
Show me another idea

Add Comments

comments powered by Disqus

SXSW reserves the right to restrict access to or availability of comments related to PanelPicker proposals that it considers objectionable.