Music Recommendation Engines Not Satisfying Fans

image from musicmachinery.files.wordpress.com A new survey by Orpheus Media Research reveals that music recommendation engines are gaining ground among consumers but are failing to offer them accurate results. According to ORM, 54% of respondents had used an engine, with only 40% of them using it daily or a few times a week.

While using an engine, 77% have discovered new music, and 92% continue to listen to that music. But here's the downfall: 40% of those surveyed said the results that engines deliver are only accurate 50% (or less) of the time.

Worse yet, of the consumers that actively look for new music, 22% said they find it almost impossible to find new, previously unheard of music.

What do consumers want?

43% of respondents said they would like a single, plug-in-my-tastes solution, and if it existed, they'd go there. Yes, sites like that sort of exist, but the trouble with most engines is that rather than creating a path forward for consumers, they send them walking in circles. Or rather, the consumers themselves walk in circles, as if lost in the words. Eventually, they will walk right back to where they started if left to their own navigation, which is the music they attempted to leave behind.

Additional Findings:

57% of the respondents indicated that they most often relied on radio or word of mouth to learn about new music; 14% said they relied on mainstream media

59% identify music as playing a key role in their social life

40% are interested in finding new ways to discover new music

40% have more than 1,000 songs (tracks) in their personal music library

82% identified radio as the greatest single influence of their music listening

82% feel that the music industry is doing an average to poor job in their ability to identify good music

44% rate their friends as good or excellent at identifying good music

Why Recomendation Is Broken:

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  1. That’s what the radio & club DJ-s are for. There’s no easy way to replace a human with similar tastes in music using any kind of computer program, and I hope there will never be…

  2. maybe it’s worth mentioning that Orpheus Media Research is not a think tank or research center, but a fledging music recommendation company with more than passing interest in their “survey”.

  3. Streaming services will never match the appeal of a well crafted ensemble of music assembled by a passionate programmer. Unfortunately, with the rare exception, that’s not what you get from commercial radio. They give you a mix of familiar music designed to keep you from tuning out.

  4. last.fm is great as a web radio but isn’t as good as a music recommendation engine.
    I think that’s because it’s not meant for it.
    It’s all about a customized radio programme.
    Sites like http://www.shizzlin.com are meant for music discovery but are relevantly new.

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