Spotify is trying to play the role of old-fashioned matchmaker with an extra dash of data this Valentine's Day. The music-streaming service is doubling as a dating service specifically for people who work at advertising agencies.
For millions, music has its way with hearts, especially on that day in mid-February when the love bugs of the world sign in for Sinatra, and the rest head shamelessly for Dashboard Confessional.
We've all been there: We meet some girl or guy who seems to like all the same groups we like–even those bands with only 1,000 streams a month (far too uncanny to be a coincidence). The soundtrack of a spark forms, and then a playlist accompanies the first date.
That's where Spotify and Belgian developer Appstrakt come in. The two have paired up to create a microsite where people can sign in through their Spotify accounts and answer questions about where they live, which agency they work for, and which bands they like and don't like. The app then analyzes the data and identifies strangers with similar musical tastes.
Around 4,000 people in 13 countries have participated this week, according to Jeff Rossi, Spotify's global director of business marketing. While it's the first time the service has been offered in the U.S., the company did try it in Europe in 2015.
"That really used to be the way that you would screen people when you were dating," Rossi told Adweek, "like 'What are you listening to?' It's such an indicator of who you were as a person, culturally. I think that now, with access to so much music, it's still a really strong indicator ... just not broken into genres like it used to be."
So who in the world—or at least in the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey and the U.S.—is using the service most? Around 25 percent of the users have been from the U.S., with the overwhelming majority coming from Europe. In the U.S., Carat and OMD were the two agencies with the most employees participating.
Matches were emailed out today, so it's unclear how many actual couples will come out of the experiment. But Rossi said several people ended up going on dates last year.
So, does Spotify have its sights set on being the Tinder of music? Nothing is in the works, Rossi said.
"I don't think we're going to get into the Match.com business," he said. "I think there's something about the surprise of having something be timely and knowing that it's only a pop-up kind of event. There's something about being temporal that makes it fun and exciting."
After all, who says love is forever?