This was Mallesh Pai last month:
Everyone here has heard about price discrimination. I know something about your willingness to pay (from other data about you or people like you), and use that to charge you a ‘better’ price. This has mostly been restricted by some combination of ethics, vague legal standards and technology to use ‘coarse’ information, e.g. your age (student/ senior discounts), your address (mailed coupons), and so on. As we pointed out a few months back there are cleverer methods on the way. But today, I think I’ve seen the best yet. A company calledKlout (indubitably with the cooler K-based variant of the spelling) looks into your social network and offers a ‘score’ estimating the influence you have. Some geniuses have decided that one’s ‘Klout score’ might be a good way to discriminate on what website you see (and indeed, what free swag you get offered): http://mashable.com/2011/06/22/klout-gate/ .
And this is Spotify this week proving him right.
The Spotify invites are part of the Klout Perks program, which rewards top influencers with special deals based on their interests and comprehensive Klout score rating. People who are rated as influential on Klout get access to the free trial version of the music service. They can also get a free month of Spotify’s premium service if enough people within their community sign up for the music service.
“The Spotify guys actually reached out to us about launching in the U.S. They had been using Klout and thought it was really cool,” said Klout CEO Joe Fernandez. “We talked a lot about how to hit the people in middle America that are also early adopters but don’t read the tech blogs and stuff.”