A recent study conducted by neuromarketing company Neuro-Insight for Spotify found that digital audio is more likely to engage long-term memory for details and past memories than radio, TV, social media, or digital video.
The study isn't peer-reviewed so it's not entirely concrete, but it did reveal a few interesting data points. Neuro-Insight's goal is to provide brands a better understanding of users' brain activity while consuming different types of content.
Spotify's partnership with Neuro-Insight allowed them to study more than 600 subjects as they listened to various kinds of content on the platform, including rock music, rap, Latin music, and even advertisements.
The researchers collected data in real-time of the subjects' brains using steady state topography (SST), a propriety tracking method developed by Neuro-Insight's founder, Richard Silberstein. It measures brain electrical activity and speed of response to stimuli.
Silberstein states that SST is able to "tap the speed of different parts of the brain very sensitively, and by virtue of the fact that different parts of the brain are specialized for different functions, we're able to infer psychological processes."
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The study also concluded that speech-driven genres of music like rap had more engagement, and instrumental and acoustic genres had higher emotional intensity. According to Axios, "93% of the brain's measured engagement with the musical or podcast content transferred directly into engagements with the ads that followed."
"We found that it was very successful in bringing that engagement over to the ad experience," added Neuro-Insight's Head of Client Solutions, Samrat Saran.
Spotify said that they want to know which ads to serve you before you know you need them.
"Our goal is to use signals like this to make sure we're serving music and podcasts to the user that they want before they know they want it," said Jon Gibs, Global Director and Principal Data Scientist.
Read more about the study here.