How Data is Transforming the Music Industry

The Usefulness of Data. how_they_listen.png

Data is particularly useful in the music industry because it allows those working behind an artist/band to build an audience profile, consequently allowing them to direct their promotional strategies to the right market. For example, Spotify has launched a new aspect called the ‘Fan Insights Dashboards’ allowing artists and managers access to their own monthly streaming data such as how people are listening to the music, the age bracket of those listeners and the gender of listeners. The data can then be interpreted and inputted into the development of marketing strategies – if your audience is listening predominantly on mobile devices advertise on this platform. Similarly, if you have a primarily female audience the products you are promoting and the advertisements used should be tailored to appeal to females; this can also link to the age of such females as a teenage audience have different preferences and audience needs to the 25-30 female bracket.

M Magazine Article

Published on the 7th of April this year was an article in M Magazine titled ‘Big Data, Big Deal: How facts and stats are reshaping the music industry’ –

A section of the article that I found particularly interesting is a statement given by Sammy Andrews who was previously Head of Digital at Cooking Vinyl and worked with Prodigy. She discussed how the data collected about the band’s audience led them in a different direction. She said they saw a ‘resurgence in young males’ listening to the music and through researching further into this market segment identified a link to gaming and maximised on this by combining the two audience interests. The band proceeded to partner with live gaming platform ‘Twitch’ by licensing a track to use on their homepage and within the track. This gave the band exposure to Twitch users, consequently reinforcing the interest some users had in the band and introducing them to other users who may have previously not heard of them or their music. This tactic is particularly effective because while not expanding their market in terms of moving into other audience segments, they are easily engaging with their primary audience and building a domination for that audience profile by becoming a common interest among members.

Spotify Maps

An example of the advancement in data that is transforming the music industry is the Spotify Maps Site which allows both the public as well as artists/managers to view the top songs in different cities around the world. While for the public it may only be a gimmick, to look and discuss the top songs in their city, it can be utilised within the music industry to identify and target audiences for a selected artist/band. For example, from looking at the data in my city – Birmingham UK – it is very easy to identify that there is a large grime scene with artists such as Giggs, AJ Tracey, and Krept and Konan featuring frequently. This is mirrored in other areas of the UK such as London and Leeds. However, in areas such as Hull, and Cork, there is less of a grime scene and dominating artists include Picture This, Blossoms, and Liam Gallagher which may be considered more Indie-pop. Therefore, to input this data practically, a manager composing a UK tour for a grime artist may book gigs in the areas where there is the highest population of the potential audience and focus their marketing efforts in such places. Below is a link to the map which not only details data across the UK, but all over the world.

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