Big DataMusic Industry

Music consumption is growing exponentially. More than 90% of Americans are spending 20+ hours per week listening to music. This is sure to be a big year for all in the music industry, and developing a solid strategy will help you and your artists stay ahead of the curve. Competition will be fierce in 2016, with more streaming services and consumption platforms being released all the time. The most success will be had by those using data-driven strategies to market their music to savvier consumers. Here are five tips to help you take advantage of data to rock your music strategy in 2016.


  1. Increase revenue by turning fans into customers: make your music data work for you


In 2016, a data-driven music strategy is going to make all the difference. Your users are, first and foremost, fans of music. If you can harness the data available to you about their likes, patterns, and locations, you can turn those fans into customers of your brand by doing things like:


  • Set concerts in the cities where your artists are most listened to, in order to increase revenue from ticket and merchandise sales.
  • Revolutionize your merchandising strategy by selling more for top-streamed artists where people are listening to them.
  • Reallocate your advertising budget on services to push services/artists that have the biggest potential according to your audience.


  1. Maximize your reach with strategic partnerships: build your music strategy around users’ interests


Develop a data-driven approach (are we sensing a trend?) to branding. Target your users as consumers, and find out which products and services are trending with specific demographics. Then build partnerships with those brands and your artists in advertising campaigns. An example of this on a grand scale would be Beyonce and Pepsi. While branding partnerships typically had a stigma attached to it for artists, it’s now becoming viewed as a beneficial branding boost to help break new artists, as well as to support existing artists.

  1. Take advantage of how modern hits are created: use winning formulas in your music strategy


In a culture constantly obsessed with the latest viral video or meme, it comes as no surprise that 90% of music industry revenue comes from 10% of the songs. The way these pop hits are created has evolved since the turn of the century. No longer simple combinations of melody and lyrics, today’s hits are carefully crafted, hook-filled, and packed with chord progressions written to make an impression consciously and subconsciously. These “track and hook” productions have helped create these viral hits. They can almost instantly turn an unknown artist into a celebrity, and will often lead to label deals and profitable tours.


Big data is even being used now in the creation of digital music. Producers and their audio software can use data to measure listeners’ visceral responses to musical compositions and combinations. While it’s been shown that totally automated generation of music yields a product too perfect to be pleasing to human ears, these innovations show that big data is not only changing the way users consume music, but driving the way that music is being created.


  1. Optimize mobile to attract customers and build community: a wealth of music data at your fingertips


Especially true for streaming services and emerging music consumption platforms, our mobile devices have become one of the primary ways we consume music on a daily basis. The data available to the music industry from the way consumers use their mobile devices is invaluable, and the opportunity for the music industry to engage their customers on a daily basis is rife with possibility. Make sure that your music strategy this year includes offering mobile tools and forums for your listeners to interact with you and with each other, and you’ll keep them engaged with your artists and your brand.


  1. Use your music data to increase customer retention and boost revenue


Distributors, labels, and industry players are always looking to increase revenues from their existing customers. Customer retention is another area where music data can augment your strategy. If your user comes to your brand for a core service, but you are able to effectively optimize the data you have about him to offer him additional services, he is more likely to return to your platform in the future. The more data you have about your user’s behavior, the better you can market the products he may be interested in, and the easier it becomes to keep him coming back for more.



With competition expanding daily, developing a shrewd music strategy to market your artists and their music in 2016 is more important than ever. Stay on top of the industry trends, use the data available to maximize your marketing efforts, and build a consumer base that you can retain and cater to. From the way hit music is created, to the considerations that fuel marketing strategies for industry insiders, it appears that 2016 will only propel the music industry further into data-driven landscapes.

Big DataMusic Industry

At a conference dominated by futuristic gadgets, smart homes, and drones, there wasn’t much noise made by audio tech at CES 2016. Instead, products featured at this year’s showcase made a quiet shift and a giant leap towards optimizing and expanding the user’s experience. Data plays an important role in that effort, especially as we saw with Spotify. The innovations featured at CES this year indicate that the future of music is data-driven, high-resolution and affordable. So here’s what you need to know:

1. Data is driving user experience. Spotify is now using data to glean information about you, from your mood to where you are- so that it can tailor the music offerings and create an unparalleled musical experience. “If content is king, then context is God, If context is God then data is its religion,” Richard Frankel, Spotify’s CEO.

2. Prizm – the music brain. Heralding the return of the dedicated music player, Prizm is primed to disrupt the streaming audio scene. This music player alters your music experience by learning your preferences and adjusting to the room to tailor a completely personalized music experience.

3. Data + Marketing = Success. Big and small data can help you streamline your marketing efforts to reach a wider audience for your music. Find out what your customers want and use your data to help them.

4. Etymotic Earplugs – At only $19.95, these hi-fidelity ear buds are available now, affordable, and deliver sound quality previously unavailable at an everyday price point.

5. Smart Piano – One Music’s CES 2016’s Innovation Award winner, this smart piano connects to your device and helps you learn to play the piano with an interactive guitar-hero-like program. Piano teachers to novice students can learn something from this award-winning system.

In 2014, Americans spent an average of 25 hours per week listening to music. What the innovations in audio technology have shown us this year at CES 2016, is that the rapidly approaching future holds affordable, hi-res, musical experiences in almost every part of our lives. Here’s looking forward to new music tech in 2016!

AnalyticsBig Data

How to solve the big data problem in the music industry has been a question for many years, but emerging blockchain technology might provide the solution the labels, producers, and distributors are looking for.

It’s an old joke in the music industry that every overnight sensation was actually years in the making, and the same could be said of product some are predicting will be the savior of the business. The concepts behind blockchain technology go back many years, but it’s only with the rise of bitcoin that people have really started paying attention and thinking about how the blockchain can be applied more globally. In the span of a few years, the blockchain has gone from a something associated by many with illegal purchases to a technology that Goldman Sachs is predicting will “change everything.”

Can the blockchain solve the music business’s big data marketing problem?

Right now, many artists face an asymmetric information problem — while their fans know where to find their music and offer financial support, they have very little data about those fans. Most of the data offered by labels and streaming services is too general to be really useful, especially for smaller artists — knowing that women age 25-45 who live in Nashville like your music is all well and good, but knowing the a 29-year-old woman named Lisa loves your tracks most of all, and where to email or call her, is worth far more.

On the flipside, many people don’t want all their data to be shared with the artists they listen to or the labels who release them. The blockchain could allow direct to fan distribution that puts the fan in control of how much information they share and allows the artist to reach out to superfans. It will also allow for a greater range of pricing — if someone wants to pay more than $1 for a track, or $10 for an album, they can contribute whatever amount they want.

Right now, the amount of data being shared with artists and labels is enormous, but very little of it is all that useful or applicable.

Blockchain will make payments more transparent

Many artists are frustrated with their payments from streaming services, and rightly so — they get a report of how many times their tracks have been played, and then months later, they get a check for a seemingly random amount. Streaming services right now pay the labels, and then the labels divide up the take among artists, but the accounting isn’t transparent. While no one is accusing the labels of doing anything wrong, the process is complicated and slow.

The use of smart contracts on the blockchain will help solve many of these problems, Revelator CEO Bruno Guez explained recently at the Future of Money summit. Artists will be able to register a composition and/or recording on the blockchain, and that can be associated with a smart contract that details who gets paid what amount. Payments can be turned around much more quickly; artists and streaming services will be able to see exactly where all the money is coming and going; and labels can spend their resources more wisely.

The more information that is uploaded to the blockchain, the better — right now, there is no central database for copyrights and song registration. If the blockchain can become the central repository for music metadata, it means more artists will get paid.

Given the momentum, 2016 is likely to be the year that labels, producers, and distributors start taking the blockchain seriously.