skip to main content
Close Icon

In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. This is done using simple text files called cookies which sit on your computer. By continuing to use this site and access its features, you are consenting to our use of cookies. To find out more about the way Informa uses cookies please go to our Cookie Policy page.

Global Search Configuration

Straight Talk Media & Entertainment

Ovum view

The Internet has undoubtedly diminished the influence of journalists, DJs, and TV personalities, as the industry and consumers alike turn instead to Amazon, Spotify, Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter for recommendations about what to listen to, watch, or read. But that doesn’t mean that the business of taste is destined for a totally democratic future, where all critics – human or otherwise – are equal.

Take Apple. It seems certain that professional tastemakers will play a major role in the consumer technology giant’s strategy to challenge Spotify’s crown in the music streaming market. Alongside the well-publicized appointment of Zane Lowe, a prominent BBC Radio 1 DJ, Apple has reportedly poached a number of leading Radio 1 producers and is looking to hire people with journalism skills to work for the long-awaited re-launched version of its Beats service.

Apple is not the first Internet company to employ real humans to curate and editorialize content to augment investments in big data analytics. Spotify employs a number of genre experts to create playlists for its service, as do a number of record labels and industry organizations. Part of Netflix’s reported $150m a year investment in content discovery and recommendation systems goes to a team of experts that look for common qualities between TV shows and movies.

But these efforts – and people – are largely at work behind the scenes. Apple’s recruitment strategy suggests that it will bring personalities to the fore, and adopt techniques which have more in common with DJ-ing and journalism than artificial intelligence and machine learning. Significantly, Spotify and its rival Deezer have also made moves to bring more traditional “lean-back” listening experiences to their services, such as podcasts and talk radio.

As always, the rest of the music industry is likely to watch Apple’s latest moves with intense interest. But companies from across the media and entertainment business should also be looking to learn how they might benefit from bringing a more human face to their digital media offerings. Apple’s strategy is not just about setting its music streaming service apart from those of rivals; it’s an attempt to give it a real mass-market appeal, a challenge all kinds of digital media providers continue to struggle with.

Straight Talk is a weekly briefing from the desk of the Chief Research Officer. To receive this newsletter by email, please contact us.

Have any questions? Speak to a Specialist

Europe, Middle East & Africa team - +44 (0) 207 017 7700


Asia-Pacific team - +61 (0)3 960 16700

US team - +1 646 957 8878

+44 (0) 207 551 9047 - Operational from 09.00 - 17.00 UK time

You can also contact your named/allocated Client Services Executive using their direct dial.
PR enquiries - +44 (0) 207 017 7760 or email us at pr@ovum.com

Contact marketing - marketingdepartment@ovum.com

Already an Ovum client? Login to the Knowledge Center now