May 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Google’s Data Reveals Music, Movie Behaviors

tim quirk

Tim Quirk, Google Music "honcho"

Hot on the heels of our Q-and-A with Google’s music group product manager Paul Joyce comes this Spin Magazine interview with Google head of content programming for Android and all around good guy, Tim Quirk.

In the interview, Quirk reveals an interesting point about the difference between how people look for music and how they look for movies, within Google’s ecosystem — namely, that the music people want access to everything, and are prepared to seek out what they want, initially anyway. Conversely, when people look for movies, they’re more content to simply choose from whatever’s available.

When asked by Spin if people tend to let Google Play Music All Access guide what they listen to, Quirk responded,

The data within Google Play suggests the opposite.  If you look at the percentage of actions that are driven by search, which is clearly intentional, versus just randomly selecting from whatever we put up for them, search draws a much higher percentage of music than it does movies. No movie service, not even Netflix, has everything, so you’re bounded by what’s in the window at any given time. But a lot of people feel like, “I want to watch a movie. What’s available?” rather than “I want to see Jackie Brown this second.”

However, that doesn’t mean people don’t need music recommendations — in fact, quite the opposite. According to Quirk, the commercial viability of Google’s music subscription depends precisely on recommending the right stuff to people after they’ve found whatever they were initially looking for.

With music, I think more than fifty percent of people start with a specific thing in mind, and once they’re done with that, whatever that starting point was, our job is give them a bunch of other things that are closely constellated. You’re only going to keep paying a monthly fee if you’re constantly surprised by new stuff.

We’ve covered Google’s new music subscription quite a bit since its launch two weeks ago: