The music industry can re-engage musical audiences by making the online music consumption and recommendation process more personal, through a number of music recommender services that take into account a service user's personal tastes. These recommendation engines, based on machine learning technology, work by providing personalised music listening experiences using data about the user's preferences and behaviour, as determined by the user's past ranking associations on the service, without the service having to ask for it explicitly. This personalised experience empowers the industry to generate increased, targeted exposure for artists and devise more efficient marketing strategies overall.
The need for personalisation is due in large part to the dramatic digital developments that the music industry has undergone in recent years. Prior to the digital age, audiences had little input into the workings of the music industry; influential decisions about which artists would receive the most promotion belonged to a restricted number of "gatekeepers" such as record label executives and artist managers within the music industry. Digital media has transformed this relationship, giving individual users the ability to define their own music consumption experience. The large digital music catalogues have freed music consumers from the restriction of a limited musical offering, but has also left them disoriented amidst the vast number of choices there now have. Consequently, the efficiency and growth of music recommender services is important as they allow listeners to discover new music that they enjoy through a musical experience that is tailored to their specific tastes, exposing them to emerging and unknown artists, and possibly enabling the user to financially support these artists by purchasing their art as well.
A personalised experience also benefits the music business, as the digitization has given the industry global market reach and reduced the weight of physical distribution barriers to new audiences. Personalisation is used as a powerful marketing tool, to exploit the potential of these new markets and their demographics by using a detailed understanding of different audiences' tastes and preferences. This development benefits all music industry parties, primarily through the generation of greater listening figures and increased revenue for record labels, artists, managers, as well as more satisfaction for fans.
The benefits of website personalisation are not restricted to the music business and its constituents, as successful recommendations benefit customers on all websites by providing them with items they are bound to be interested in, and in some cases, suggesting items the user was not aware of to begin with.