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ILLUSTRATIONS: Moneyballing Music: Big Data, Consumers And A&R – MusicTank

ILLUSTRATIONS: Moneyballing Music: Big Data, Consumers And A&R

23 Mar 2015

This, the first of our new Future Thinking series – Moneyballing Music: Big Data, Consumers And A&R took its lead from our publication of an MA thesis by Prithwijit Mukerji (Jeet) on the subject of Big Data (access here).  The event considered how the recorded music industry is currently collecting and using data to support a historically subjective process of signing new artists.  It also considered how data can be used to help minimise investment risk through deeper understanding of consumer behavior and demand, and it’s use in others areas of the industry, such as ticketing, and brand partnerships.

Innovation Arts captured this event in realtime, producing two rich graphical summaries of the evening’s discussion, which can be found below:

1) Jeet’s presentation highlighted the opportunities that aggregation and interpretation of vast amounts of social media data can provide.  Highlighting the scale of the task – resources and costs – he citied Echonest’s 1 trillion data points and Netflix’s 435 bn data points (2014) and Shazam’s 17m tags per day as examples of the data interpretation challenge, whilst emphasizing that the use of data shouldn’t replace but complement existing practices.

“Big data goes beyond demographics it’s a marriage between marketing and A&R, with potential far beyond including ticketing and brand partnerships”

The panel consensus was that A&R was still very much led by subjective gut instinct, though data could inform and enhance the business decisions taken with artists and their campaigns.  Warning of the dangers of relying on the predictive potential for data, panelists commented on the need to contextualize data, and that “those closest to it, were furthest away from the industry”, concerns were also raised about the ownership of data, it’s provenance, and what it could be used for (and who by).


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2) Moving on to big data’s potential for the wider industry, including ticketing, the quality and authenticity of data and the lack of a cohesive ordered, comprehensive data set I the way that the Chart Book used to serve labels were discussed. “We are in an industry that uses an incredible amount of data, usually in the wrong way” – Korda Marshall



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Miss this event? Want to find out more? Visit our event page here for full details

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