Deep content-based music recommendation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)

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Aaron van den Oord, Sander Dieleman, Benjamin Schrauwen


Automatic music recommendation has become an increasingly relevant problem in recent years, since a lot of music is now sold and consumed digitally. Most recommender systems rely on collaborative filtering. However, this approach suffers from the cold start problem: it fails when no usage data is available, so it is not effective for recommending new and unpopular songs. In this paper, we propose to use a latent factor model for recommendation, and predict the latent factors from music audio when they cannot be obtained from usage data. We compare a traditional approach using a bag-of-words representation of the audio signals with deep convolutional neural networks, and evaluate the predictions quantitatively and qualitatively on the Million Song Dataset. We show that using predicted latent factors produces sensible recommendations, despite the fact that there is a large semantic gap between the characteristics of a song that affect user preference and the corresponding audio signal. We also show that recent advances in deep learning translate very well to the music recommendation setting, with deep convolutional neural networks significantly outperforming the traditional approach.