Ask yourself two questions:
1. How many times did you listen to "Rolling In The Deep" last month?
2. How badly do you want to travel to Australia?
According to ToneMedia, a new Internet advertising company that serves targeted ads on music and lyrics searches, if the answer to the first question is "a lot," then the answer to the second question is probably "really, really badly." ToneMedia found, through its analysis of millions of search engine queries on music and 900 other search categories, that fans of pop star Adele are 89 percent more likely to also shop for travel to Australia.
Set fire to the rain, search flights to Brisbane -- all in a day's searching for many Google users, apparently.
ToneMedia provided HuffPost with several other intriguing findings regarding musical tastes and shopping habits, which we've included below for your reading pleasure. Prepare to have your biases toward the fans of certain artists reaffirmed or shattered:
- Drake fans are nearly 300 percent more likely to shop for Nike sneakers.
- Rihanna fans are 189 percent more likely to be interested in cruise travel.
- John Lennon fans are 101 percent more likely to own pets.
- Jack Johnson fans are 79 percent more likely to be Asian.
- Jack Jonson fans are 243 percent more likely to be interested in purchasing a camcorder.
- Nirvana fans are 98 percent more likely to be iPhone users.
- Big Sean fans are 48 percent more likely to be Android users.
- Beyonce fans are 172 percent more likely to be BlackBerry users.
- Jason Mraz fans are 78 percent more likely to be iPhone users.
- Foo Fighters fans are 30 percent more likely to be Android users.
- Metallica fans are 183 percent more likely to be BlackBerry users.
- U2 fans are 595 percent more likely to be soccer fans.
- U2 fans are 68 percent more likely to be interested in purchasing green products.
- LMFAO fans are 53 percent more likely to work in legal services.
- LMFAO fans are 235 percent more likely to be cat owners.
- Nickelback fans are 123 percent more likely to be smokers.
- Nickelback fans are 96 percent more likely to be pro wrestling fans.
- Creed fans are 296 percent more likely to be tennis fans.
- Creed fans are 86 percent more likely to work in cloud computing.
- Coldplay fans are 52 percent more likely to be religious.
- Coldplay fans are 132 percent more likely to be a C-Level executive for their career.
- Black Eyed Peas fans are 119 percent more likely to be interested in taking out a loan.
- Black Eyed Peas fans are 110 percent more likely to be interested in purchasing a Sony Ericsson phone.
- Lana Del Rey fans are 180 percent more likely to be between the ages of 55-64.
- Lana Del Rey fans are 76 percent more likely to be interested in purchasing a mattress.
So, snark aside -- OF COURSE there is a correlation between Nickelback and professional wrestling, am I right? -- what does all of this mean? Why are Coldplay listeners so skilled at climbing the corporate ladder? What is it about cloud computing that attracts so many Creed lovers? How come there are there so many Lana Del Rey fans shopping for mattresses?
Well, unfortunately for the more inquisitive among us, ToneMedia doesn't really care why these correlations exist -- only that they do. This information, you see, is valuable to many advertisers for an obvious reason: If companies know what fans of certain artists are searching the Internet for, in addition to their favorite song lyrics, then they can place highly targeted ads for their products on that artist's lyrics page. That is the business of ToneMedia, which has come out of beta and now serves more than 100 different lyrics sites and blogs. So, the next time you look up the words to "Sexy And I Know It," don't be surprised if you see an advertisement for kitty litter; you also shouldn't be shocked if a line of Drake-flavored Nikes or a Rihanna Fan Cruise from Royal Caribbean surfaces some time soon, at least from a correlative standpoint.
Searches for music and lyrics are "the number one search category before sex, sports and news," ToneMedia CEO and founder Val Katayev told HuffPost in a phone interview. And yet thus far, those searches had been studied in a vacuum. ToneMedia is attempting to change this by investigating what else users search for before and after they find those indecipherable Bon Iver lyrics (hence the quirky factoids above). It does this with a mix of data it has collected from users on its own sites combined with demographic data it has purchased from third-party analytics firms.
Judging by the early embrace of ToneMedia by several major companies, whatever the startup does is working. Its clients already include massive firms like Nokia, Puma, Axe Body Spray and more, and ToneMedia's chief strategy officer Andy Blacker boasted in an interview that his company's model can help these companies better choose music for their commercials. He illustrated the point with an anecdote about a certain large company considering Rihanna for a campaign and using ToneMedia to check for a search correlation.
He also pointed out that ToneMedia's targeted ads have high click-through rates -- especially from users searching for Journey lyrics. After an ad campaign by a certain laptop maker, it was found that Journey fans clicked on ads almost three times more often than fans of Lady Gaga fans. Monsters!
For consumers, meanwhile -- well, nothing much changes with the launch of ToneMedia, except we get these cute little research findings about the ways in which our music preferences align with our shopping habits. Without ToneMedia, for example, we would have never known that Foster the People fans are almost 100 percent more likely to work as IT professionals.
Makes sense, for a band whose initials are FTP.