Do our musical leanings predict our political ones? Pandora thinks so.

Like Bob Marley?

You are a Democrat. Like country music? You must be a Republican.

Like Bruce Springsteen or hip-hop? Could go either way.

We’ve always known that musical tastes reflected a lot about people. But now Pandora, the Oakland digital music service, is selling the idea that our music equals our politics to candidates and political organizations who seek ways to better target their messages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Next week, the company is launching an ad service for campaigns that maps Pandora’s 73 million members by their political leanings.

The company has created musical profiles of people and their politics based on what certain zip codes listen to most and whether that zip code votes for in elections. Then it makes the connection that Marley fans must be Dems, and so on.

The Journal has a quiz on its site of musicians and whether their fans would be Republican or Democrat.

But I’m a little confused why this is needed or how it might be used.

Since there is data readily available that shows how precincts vote during any election, campaigns already can target their advertising. Are campaigns looking to find the hidden Republicans in say San Francisco’s Mission District? Maybe it would be helpful in very local campaigns but already, California, a solid Blue state, is pretty much ignored during national campaigns.


Photo: If you like Bob Marley, shown here at a 1980 concert in Paris, that’s supposed to indicate you’re a Democrat. (Associated Press)

Michelle Quinn Michelle Quinn (213 Posts)

Michelle Quinn is a Business Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to her current role, she was the Silicon Valley correspondent at Politico covering tech policy and politics. She has also covered the tech industry at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a blogger for the New York Times.