Skip to main content

In a letter to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, a group of concerned musicians have expressed concern over one of the streaming giant's technological patents. 

The patent in question allows for the "identification of taste attributes from an audio signal." In other words, the patent would allow Spotify to develop a speech-recognition function which would shape how the platform recommends music to its users. Spotify filed the patent in 2018, which was later approved by the United States Patent And Trademark Office in January of this year. 

News of this patent has resurfaced concerns around digital privacy since, in order to function, the speech recognition feature would monitor background noise continuously looking for context clues which may identify the user's gender, age, location, emotional state, and more. 

Over 180 musicians, including Talib Kweli, STS9, and Tom Morello, raised privacy-related concerns to Daniel Ek by signing an open letter. In the letter, the musicians point to several key issues with the technology: the potential for emotional manipulation and discrimination, the potential for a breach in data security and exposure of sensitive information, and the exacerbation of inequality in the music industry driven by artificial technology and profit-seeking algorithms. 

Recommended Articles

hayden james

Hayden James Announces Release Date of Sophomore Album, "LIFTED"

"LIFTED" will release on James' longtime label, Future Classic.


The Chainsmokers and Tiësto to Headline Super Bowl 2022 Parties

The Chainsmokers will perform on Friday, February 11th and Tiësto on the 12th.

The letter requests that Spotify issue a public statement committing they will not use, license, or sell this technology in any capacity. The authors have requested a response from the streaming giant by May 18th.



Spotify Has Invented AI Technology for Songwriters to Detect Plagiarism

The streaming giant filed a patent for a "Plagiarism Risk Detector And Interface."


Spotify Is Rolling Out Voice Control Functionality: Just Say "Hey Spotify"

Navigate in-app to specific creators, playlists, and songs with Spotify's new wake word feature.


Spotify Is Beta Testing Critical Upgrades to Its Apple Watch App

Spotify hasn't made any substantial changes to its Apple Watch app since 2018, but that is about to drastically change.


New Spotify Patent Aims to Curate Content Based On Nostalgia

Spotify may be able to use its predictive algorithms to identify songs that will have you yearning for the past.


Spotify Now Allows Users to Search Using Song Lyrics

Forgot the title of the new song you want to save? Thanks to Spotify that's no longer an issue.


Spotify is Testing an Instagram Stories-Like Feature In Editorial Playlists

Having tested the feature in several different capacities, Spotify seems to have a lingering fascination with incorporating stories on its platform.


Spotify Launches "Group Session" Feature for Premium

Spotify premium has another noteworthy social listening feature.

Spotify money

Spotify Launches "Loud & Clear" Initiative Aimed At Increasing Transparency

Spotify has responded to arguments from critics with a new data-driven multimedia venture.