Sharing Helps Everyone
Right now, Spotify knows about the listening habits of only their own users; just as Apple music knows the listening habits of only their own users. This means that playlists suffer, and marketing suffers, because data is hidden, instead of being shared. While this is common in business, we need to do a better job of it if we want music streaming to reach its full potential - both for users, and for having a financially successful industry.
The more knowledge there is about users, the better playlists can become, the more targeted advertising becomes, the deals on concert tickets can be brought to the right people, and merchandising improves.
We have the solution!
What the industry needs to do is simply 'anonymize' the data. No one really needs to know any specific users name, for example. We anonymize the data and then share listening habits. If you imagine a single, global database of anonymized user data, then here would be considerable, actionable data that everyone could work with. What users are listening to, what they want to hear, would be far better known, What products are being bought, what products do users want? What are the hot tickets right now? It could help the labels in many ways including projecting changes in user's listening habits and desires.
Anonymizing the data protects user's privacy.
Such global knowledge benefits everyone, and hurts no one. Even the largest music streaming companies, like Spotify, would benefit; advertisers would benefit; even the bands could get a better idea of what users want.
Consumers could then tailor their account settings with preferences by keyword (which is something every service ought to have), plus the particular service they are using can see their listening habits. Add it all together, and you have better solutions.
Music streaming is a new industry. It is an industry that is just forming, a new way of doing things, and is the future for music. So it ought to be built right, from the start.