Why Mood Will be the Next Billion Dollar Marketing Market

Real-time connectivity has its pluses for consumers but more so for advertisers looking to put the right message in front of the right person at the right time.

Imagine being able to target your ice cream ad at someone when they are depressed. Or liquor for that matter. Medical marijuana, CBD infused candy?

Since 2015, Spotify has started selling mood information to advertisers according to an incredible article from Liz Pelly at The Baffler.

But a more careful look into Spotify’s history shows that the decision to define audiences by their moods was part of a strategic push to grow Spotify’s advertising business in the years leading up to its IPO—and today, Spotify’s enormous access to mood-based data is a pillar of its value to brands and advertisers, allowing them to target ads on Spotify by moods and emotions. Further, since 2016, Spotify has shared this mood data directly with the world’s biggest marketing and advertising firms.

She continues:

The result is an interactive hub on the Spotify for Brands website detailing seven distinct “key audio streaming moments for marketers to tap into,” including Working, Chilling, Cooking, Chores, Gaming, Workout, Partying, and Driving. Spotify also dutifully outlines recommendations for how to use this information to sell shit, alongside success stories from Dunkin’ Donuts, Snickers, Gatorade, Wild Turkey, and BMW.

Much of her article focuses on Spotify but what is really interesting is the ability to couple this information with what is on social media. Tying complaints lodged on Twitter – angry political comments on Facebook – joyous celebration on Linked In about landing a new job, etc.

Mood can be determined by more than music. AI and ML are getting better at ferreting this information out of us as well.

Forbes has a solid piece on how to use mood marketing… It suggests being authentic, honest, building empathy, realize moods can be transitory, keep your message aligned with your brand values, and back it up with action.

Big ad agencies are the najor players in the mood marketing space but surprisingly there are few if any startups. We expect this to change as publicly available information coupled with what is shared by social platforms allows targeting of people with context never available before.

It will not only be great for brands who will have a more responsive audience, it could be great for consumers as well as they will see more relevant, targeted marketing.

This may seem creepy – and we can fully understand why but imagine a soft drink company flashing an uplifting video ad when you are feeling down. Or a sports drink ad when you are in the middle of a workout.

Of course the downside will be ads for beer when you are feeling depressed.

One imagines government regulators will step in at some point – similar to how they stop or at least slow vaping ads targeted at minors.

It will be exciting and perhaps a bit creepy as mood marketing evolves to become the multi-billion dollar market we predict it will become.


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