🤐What went wrong with Spotify's new AI update?

May 14, 2021

Hi there,

Wishing a very blissful Eid ul Fitr to you and your family.

The celebrations may be different, but the love & happiness is not. So make sure you make the most out of this festival, spend time with your family, call up your friends and just spread love️

I understand you must be in the mood to relax and enjoy the long weekend, so without wasting any time let’s just dive in, and then I’ll let you go back to your Netflix & chill plans 🤭

In today’s edition:

  • Spotify’s Voice recognition feature backfires?
  • How to future-proof personalization in a post-cookie world
  • PepsiCo India’s Tarun Bhagat shared marketing strategy which brands need to follow in the time of Covid-19
  • FREE CRM ASSESSMENT: Learn how to maximize ROI with limited budget
  • Hand-picked tool for the week: Sprout Social

Artificial Intelligence

🏻‍Spotify’s Voice recognition feature backfires?

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Spotify recently patented a technology that will allow it to analyze your voice and suggest songs based on your "emotional state, gender, age, or accent".

The patent granted in January describes how Spotify could use its voice recognition tech to infer how someone is feeling by the sound of their voice. The software would also attempt to determine other aspects of the user’s identity, including gender, age, and accent. The resulting profile would then be combined with location data shared with Spotify to generate a playlist of songs that the AI suggests might appeal to the user at that moment.

A coalition of musicians and human rights groups urged music streaming company Spotify on Tuesday to rule out the possible use of a speech recognition tool.

The letter raises several issues, largely stemming from how much the AI can learn about someone and what is done with that data. Worries about privacy, data harvesting, and surveillance are part and parcel of the ongoing debate over using any cloud-connected tech, voice or otherwise, but the Spotify tech adds a few more bullet points that are raised less often in those debates.

The letter alleges the tech could be used not just for monitoring people’s emotions, but manipulating them, giving Spotify’s algorithm the power to alter how people feel, presumably via the songs it queues up to play. The other element raised in the letter is less about the potential tech and more about the very concept of AI-based music suggestions and if it hurts the industry as a whole by shuffling songs for maximum profit over actual good recommendations.

Learn more about the allegations & Spotify’s reply thereof

Personalized Marketing

🤷🏻‍♀️How to future-proof personalisation in a post-cookie world

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In a post-cookie world, a brand’s marketing success hinges entirely on building content, products, and experiences that consumers will opt-in for. Which begs the question, how do brands incentivize opt-in? The answer: personalization.

So where should marketers start to build future-proof personalization practices in this ever-evolving landscape? By redesigning their brand’s data strategy from the ground up.

  • Future-proofing with zero-party data: First-party data relies on a consumer’s behaviors or inputted information, such as their name, email address, date of birth, home address, purchases, etc, whereas zero-party data covers areas that cannot be inferred and that no third-party provider could capture independently.
  • Closing the audience development and activation gap: The second critical step is orchestrating these learnings into segmentation strategies that can be activated across a brand’s owned properties and paid media. Marketers need data management tools that are natively integrated into activation pipes to ostensibly limit the number of ’jumps’ required between audience insight, audience design and audience activation.
  • Personalized messaging and experiences are the future: As an industry, we are together setting sail for uncharted waters. Whether it is new developments around IDFA, Chrome, or GDPR on the horizon, the expectation from customers remains the same: personalized messaging and experiences.


PepsiCo India’s Tarun Bhagat shared marketing strategy which brands need to follow in the time of Covid-19

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The marketing strategy brands should follow to remain relevant

Three main pillars, that is now a core to our marketing strategy are ‘Hope, trust and fun’.

1) Hope – Brands need to be empathic and craft messages which are reassuring and relatable to consumers in these unprecedented times.

2) Trust – With uncertainty all around, today consumers want to reach out to brands whom they can relate to and one that provides them value for money.

3) Fun – Today brands that can present an opportunity for consumers to express themselves in a fun manner are the ones that will emerge as winners.

Dos and don’ts brands need to follow when communicating with consumers

There are three key things which brands need to be mindful of while communicating with consumers.

  • Be consumer-centric – In terms of communication, brands need to empathize with their audiences and uplift their spirits to start with. They need to communicate in a simple yet relatable manner.
  • Build trust – These are times that call for sensitivity and brands will need to tread a fine line between over- and under-playing their roles in consumer lives and communicate mindfully.
  • Go innovative and digital –. While all other platforms will have a role to play, digital has grown tremendously as people settle for the new normal. Brands will need to create content that will allow their consumers to engage and interact with them.
Communicating with consumers post Covid-19

Consumption patterns have been disrupted since the onset of the pandemic. Like brands, consumers are also facing the challenge of having to quickly learn new ways to operate. Communicating with the consumer is key and it is crucial for brands to empathize and emerge as partners that care for their needs.

As brands, we need to follow the behavioural shift amongst consumers and communicate in the way they want to consume information, through a right platform and with messaging that is value-oriented, educational and compassionate. With content consumption at an all-time high on social media, online platforms have become an important tool in the marketing mix to engage with consumers.

Read more here.

Next-gen CRM

FREE CRM ASSESSMENT: Learn how to maximize ROI with limited budget

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Even though COVID has hit India hard, you can still generate maximum revenue from the limited marketing budget you have.


  1. By understanding your customers’ behavior, and
  2. Reaching out to them on digital channels where they're active like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, etc.

To help you do that, Xeno is doing a FREE CRM Strategy Assessment, no strings attached! We’ll give you the exact strategy to execute with or without Xeno.

But we have limited time and resources to help only a few brands. If you want to be among the first ones, sign up here.

Hand-picked tool for the week: Sprout Social

Your chance to discover some of the most unknown & helpful tools made for marketers like you.

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Sprout is a social media management and engagement platform for businesses that makes it easy for brands to effectively engage with current customers and prospective customers. We believe Sprout’s features and functionalities can speak for themselves

Check it out here.

Brand & Marketing News

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  1. McDonald's Partners with White House to Boost Access to Vaccinations
  2. Google is trying 'anti-Amazon' strategy to become the next big thing in e-commerce. But will it work?
  3. YouTube to launch $100 million creator fund for Shorts video feature

That’s all for today folks. Hope you liked today’s edition.

Stay in & stay safe :”)

Eid Mubarak! 🤍

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