Friday, February 13, 2009

iTunes - Skewing the Database

So in my master's program at Mville, we often discuss the interactive function of today's marketing-purchase-data record cycle. If you order a book on Amazon it automatically categorizes your purchase and starts to recommend books of similar topic, style, author, etc. It immediately tells you what other books were purchased in combination with your selection by other shoppers. Powerful algorithms are cranking away in the background advising you like an expert on the next chick lit book you'll love, or the classic author you have neglected, or the book on knitting (which must be related to a gift purchase, because god knows you don't knit).

Today I skewed my iTunes profile. I made my very first purchase. My iTunes library to date has been completely constructed by transferring our bizarre CD collection into the computer. But yesterday I switched away from NPR/CBS depressing economy news and sought ear candy with WPLJ - long lived pop-rock radio station complete with extremely annoying morning team of idiots. They had brought into the studio a young british singer I'd never heard of - Lily Allen. Her music was pop with attitude, and probably way to young for me, but it was new, fun, and I enjoyed it. Her voice was a little smoky and her slight cockney accent came through as she sang.

So today, I did it. I hit the purchase button on iTunes and purchased the entire album for $9.99.

As it downloaded I noticed a little red box to the side...what does that say?

Oh dear. EXPLICIT.

I started looking at the song titles.

Oh dear. One is titled F**K You.


So you can just guess what kind of recommendations I'm getting from the iTunes Store "Genius" now.

But I have to admit. I like that F**K You song. It's a bouncy little rendition that makes me smile. And with the news these days (another friend called me for help with his resume, having just lost his job), a little F**K You song goes a long way.


AmyBow said...

sometimes the unmentionable songs are best - remind me to share Liz Phair's "HWC"...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My kids introduced me to Lily Allen a couple of years ago--I love her.

A's Mom said...

Never heard of her, but I guess I should hear her out.