Music Analytics: Using Data to Market, Plan and Sell

Data analytics can help musicians and other artists track their audiences’ demographics, song preferences and online or in-store music purchases – showing the power and usefulness of data to pick popular singles from a recently released album and even set up a tour list by tracking listening trends.

“I’m not interested in telling you how to make popular music,” said Liv Buli, a data journalist for Next Big Sound, during a talk at the Future of Music Policy Summit. “I can tell you how it’s tracking.”

I’m not interested in telling you how to make popular music, I can tell you how it’s tracking.”

The people at Next Big Sound, a music analytics company, have been compiling and analyzing this data since 2009, collecting more than 1 trillion data sets in the first half of 2015 alone.

This data is especially valuable in a world where one-day spikes in sales are a rarity and listeners use a plethora of online streaming options. Looking at sales, streams and radio plays as a whole enables artists to better target their audience for merchandise sales, concert announcements and exclusive offers or content.

RELATED ARTICLE



According to Buli, artists also can use these data as leverage during contract negotiations with record labels or by the labels themselves to track how marketable an artist is to a certain audience. At the end of it all, however, it’s the same goal: profits.

“It’s about monetizing in the back end,” Buli said. For example, Buli’s analyses have shown that while Latin artists track at roughly 2% of the total plays on nearly all platforms, they get a 3%-point boost on Facebook.

So what does this mean for an artist or a manager?

“If I see that, I’ll market that Latin artist heavily on Facebook,” Buli said.

As much as we all want artists to be the ones looking at the data themselves, because it’s empowering, I do think there needs to be official business entities built around consulting in the music industry”

The service offered by the New York-based company is free for any artist who signs up. While it cannot accept sales data from individual artists, the service does allow the artist or manager to track Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube plays.

“As much as we all want artists to be the ones looking at the data themselves, because it’s empowering, I do think there needs to be official business entities built around consulting in the music industry,” said Kiran Gandhi, a former data analyst for Interscope Records.

“If I’m an artist and I’m working on music, I would much prefer to have a team around me looking at the numbers for me,” she said.

comments powered by Disqus