Amazon Is Patenting Technology That Predicts Future Hits and Popular Artists

Amazon Music patent
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Sick of a world created by influencers and tastemakers? It’s about to invade Amazon Music if this patent filing is any indication.

Amazon first filed for this patent back in 2013, with the intention of algorithmically helping music discovery. Now, the filing is being updated and tweaked.

The patent filing says the sales, consumption, and popularity of media items experience “a large amount of inequality.” Only a small number of media items become very prominent and enter the pop culture lexicon.

Amazon wants to solve that problem by creating algorithms that can identify ‘early adopters’ of obscure media. The idea is to introduce these tastemakers to new obscure media they might like, based on past listening preferences. The algorithm can then “determine media items that are likely to become popular in the future based on habits of early adopters.”

Music led by early adopters and influencers sounds like a nightmare, but it may be the future at Amazon Music.

The new algorithm will provide recommendations to users from media items that are “predicted to become popular in the future.” That means a new song doesn’t even have to be popular yet, but Amazon will push it to influencers to try and help it along.

The whole goal of this patent is to identify users that repeatedly engage with media. For example, Amazon’s algorithms may create a profile that helps determine its enthusiastic customers’ musical tastes. The patent isn’t solely exclusive to recognizing music tastes, though.

Amazon’s algorithm may detect buying a new album day one and show you more similar content. Consistently interacting with media on Amazon may brand users as an ‘early adopter.’

These algorithms “utilize acquisition and consumption histories of early adopters to identify relatively unknown or obscure media items or media item creators that have a high potential for becoming popular in the future.”

Many early adopters’ habits are then correlated to rank creators on a scoring algorithm to determine their potential popularity. This popularity prediction relies on accurate data generated by the early adopter identification engine.

2 Responses

  1. Tom Hendricks

    Influencers and tastemakers? There are none, and music doesn’t change from the ten aging pop stars that are propped up and controlled by the Big 3 Labels.
    Q. But aren’t there people out there that love the generic mainstream pop?
    A. No! No one is lapping it up. No one here, no one anywhere. The Big 3 Labels, parent companies own the media and talk shows that review and promote their bad music. They make it sound like this music is popular. But all sales are way down, and last year was the first to match the high year of sales, 1999! Virtually everyone I’ve ever talked to is like you reading this, and has to block out corporate and search out good music. That should tell you it’s a marketing scheme, not the will of anyone anywhere . No one seems to know this, and so they really think there is some weird people out there that love this junk and hate good music. No!

    • Chapel Perlious

      Well said. Been in the industry for over 30 years, and for those seeking out new artists and new sounds, if you know how and where to look, there has never been more new music readily available for discovery than at present. Yet, to your point, the Big 3 (1990 = Big 6 distributors) continue to regurgitate the same dreck, which will continue as long as they have the level of media control they currently enjoy. The world needs a new underground, to rise up outside of the corporate paradigm. It happened in the UK in the 70s, US in the 80s as well as other places. My hope is that a new indie underground movement will rise again and soon, outside of the corporatocracy. The artists are out there. Large, monolithic corporations will never deliver unvarnished, raw art and will inevitably water down their offerings in the temple of commerce. What the public often gets is a derivative from within the corporate world’s finite echo chamber, again, to your point. Big labels have been resistant to new sounds and styles since at least the 80s. “We love the music but they don’t sound like anything we already know. How can we possibly market this?” It’s a defeatist attitude that answers only to money and the hope for good quarterly/annual financial results. Art reflects back to us that which needs to been seen and experienced so that we can further make sense of our lives, as well as the society in which we live. I, for one, will never let a corporation tell me what the next best “whatever” is, especially when it comes to art. It’s a hollow proposition at best.