Pandora Will Share Ideological Info with Campaigns for Election Year Ads

Pandora Will Share Ideological Info with Campaigns for Election Year Ads

Pandora knows your musical tastes and something else, too.

The music service boasts that it can predict its users’ political preferences, and it will share that information with the two political parties as we march toward the 2014 elections. How accurate is the service? Pandora says it has a 75-80 percent accuracy rate on voter choices.

The company’s advertising system weights its results based on users’ ZIP codes; an area that voted 60 percent for Obama will have that factored into its residents’ voting probabilities.

Then Pandora looks at your music. Listen to a lot of country? You’re probably a strong Republican voter. Prefer jazz? You likely vote Democrat. Classic rock or hip-hop? Well, you’re a little harder to pin down–but that might be just what ad-makers are looking for….

Could this plan backfire even if those Pandora coffers swell from all the ad money? The company appears ready for that scenario.

Still, [Pandora’s Jack] Krawczyk pledged to take user feedback into account as Pandora rolls out its campaign offerings. “We’re always monitoring the effect of our our ad load,” he said. “If we saw that there’s anything that’s driving away listening behavior, then we would certainly act accordingly.

Culture remains upstream of politics, and campaigns are all too eager to reach potential voters in an unconventional fashion apart from ideological stomping grounds. Pandora understands this as well, apparently.