The music industry generally is way behind almost every other industry in understanding the value of data. While data is the lifeblood of so many other industries, the music industry is (almost stubbornly) lagging behind.
Because of social media, we’re already all familiar with seeing data every day. Instagram, for example, offers lots of numbers even to a general user: followers, likes, impressions, click-throughs to websites. That’s before you’ve even considered ad placements.
But having data in front of you is not the same as understanding data and acting on it in an effective way.
Data takes the guesswork out of where to place budgets and helps to save money in the long term
It’s the difference between having a list of musical notes compared with them being organised into a composition. One is pure information, just stats, the other is something you can interpret and respond to.
A manager or artist has to make decisions on what artwork to use, what records to put out, where to tour, what media to speak to. These are all decisions that should be guided by the right understanding of data.
At the moment so many artists' careers are not reaching their potential because data is being misunderstood or ignored completely.
At the moment so many artists' careers are not reaching their potential because data is being misunderstood or ignored completely
The right data can tell you who your fans are and where they are and, more importantly, how you can speak to them and what you should show them.
Imagine an artist has 40k Instagram followers, and 30k of them are in Italy. It would be pretty useless trying to get or sign a record deal in Germany. Crude example, but you get the point.
Equally, hanging decisions off the wrong data, or incomplete data, is acting blindly.
But it’s not so easy, collating and processing and understanding data, especially at the volumes we have today. Perhaps part of the reason the industry is not embracing data is because it’s got a rep for being a bit like rocket science.
What we have built at Beatchain is not supposed to be a replacement for the roles of manager, promoter or label. It’s actually a tool to augment those roles to be better equipped to read, understand and translate what is undoubtedly one of the main currencies of our era.
Hanging decisions off the wrong data, or incomplete data, is acting blindly
Automation, machine learning and AI can help take the heavy work out of data analysis.
Managers can easily see what presentation of the artist is getting a response.
Promoters can see when and where to place an artist for performances and project how many tickets might be sold.
Labels can adjust their planning at every level to have a greater chance of success with an artist.
Data takes the guesswork out of where to place budgets and helps to save money in the long term.
And, future developments can take all of this further, for example AI-based sentiment analysis – something we are right at the start of working with at Beatchain – can potentially dig deeper into the nature of social media comments to point artists in the right direction of what promo material to make.
Using data in the right way, labels, managers and promoters can shape the career of an artist with less guesswork. The ones who understand this now will have an advantage in an industry that’s largely not woken up yet.