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Podcasts and Music, No Longer Safe: Ad Targeting Will Use What You Listen To

Tracking users’ digital moves isn’t about to stop, not if media corporations have something to say about it. SXM Media is the latest to find a way to do just that through podcasts and music.

Despite Google and Apple’s commitment to offer users ways to stop mobile identifiers and browser cookies, SXM Media, the company behind some of the most popular music and podcast platforms out there, just proposed a cookie alternative of their own.

SXM Media announced this week that they were about to employ a new “listener identity solution.”

The owner of SiriusXM, Pandora, and Stitcher Radio would come up with listener IDs for those who consent to their ad targeting strategy.

We’re not sure how that consent would be obtained but we do know that, typically, it involves a long and convoluted terms of service agreement.

While the company didn’t comment on that, it did mention it would use sign up emails and identifiers baked into users’ listening devices to create those IDs.

Once created, the ID would be used to track a person’s listening preferences across devices. Music and podcast choices would then be disclosed to advertisers who would, in turn, use them to target people better.

As annoying as this news might be, it’s nothing unheard of in the industry. It’s no secret that Pandora, for example, has collected registration data (birth year, gender and zip code) and passed it to advertisers before.

Will this new form of user identification and targeting be more invasive? It’s hard to tell but regardless, be ready to face a new privacy battle on a different battlefield.

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Podcasts and Music, No Longer Safe: Ad Targeting Will Use What You Listen To
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