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

10th March 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue: Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster


This event is driven by our Future Thinking strand, in which the foresight and critical thinking of outstanding MA Music Business Management students at University of Westminster is featured.

We’re excited to announce the return of live event scribing by  | Missed it last time? Take a look at their previous work here…

DELEGATES INCLUDE: Universal; Tairona Songs Ltd; Saari Ltd; IFPI; Media Insight Consulting; The Other Hand; Baker Tilly; BPI; Rock Hippie Management & Music; Carmolab Sas; Yell Music Ltd; Rho Consult Ltd; Quest; Kobalt Music Group; Music Publishers Association; The Critical Moment of Will; Clintons; MUSO; FreeStyleGames (Activision Blizzard); Lost Track Productions Ltd; Sunfly Music Group; PPL; Sound And Music; The Official Charts Company; Disciple Media; Michael Simkins LLP; Entertainment Intelligence; MOBO; Machine 10: FCMRightscom Limited; Instance; 7 Digital; Universal Production MusicRocked LogicSamsung Electronics; Secretly GroupLast.fm; Universal Music Group; the hub; Spotify; Know Your Culture Management; Amplify Music; PRS Foundation; Popshop; Cummins Inc; IMMF; and many more…


So is data the new oil? If the rash of activity over the past 13 months or so is anything to go by, it would surely seem so…

2014 saw a hive of activity twixt the music, media and data industries with a number of high-profile partnerships and acquisitions, including Twitter and 300, Spotify and The Echo Nest, and Warner Music Group and Shazam, forming over the last few quarters.  And already this year, Apple has bought Musicmetric, the data service provider that among others provides the data-crunching back-end to Shazam – one of the biggest music recognition and sales platforms in existence (and itself now valued at $1bn).

Without doubt, the level and value of all this activity certainly points to where some in the music and tech industries see the future, and it would be a brave person to hedge against it. So what exactly is meant by ‘big data’?

As panellist Jeremy Silver explains, …[it] often refers to the very large and highly complex data-sets thrown off by global online consumer activity, particularly arising from social media activity such as on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, or from page-views of sites such as Wikipedia.  Music big data can also include more traditional measures of information about plays of music audio and video, paid-for streams or downloads of music, or even illegal music sharing activity.”

Big data provides the answers to questions involving ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘where’, and ‘when’.  What it is perhaps not excellent at doing is providing the solution to ‘why’.

Taking its lead from today’s publication of an MA thesis by Prithwijit Mukerji on the subject of Big Data, this Future Thinking event will consider how the recorded music industry is currently collecting and using data to support a historically subjective process of signing new artists. 

It will also consider how data can also be used to help minimise investment risk through deeper understanding of consumer behavior and demand.  But the discussion won’t be restricted to labels, artists and A&R.  As panellist Kim DeRuiter will raise, mobile ticketing platforms could be transformed through the application and exploitation of big data, to say nothing about sales and marketing of music in general, be it T-shirts, recordings, gig tickets or intelligence about consumer habits and tastes.

With everything to play for, the industry’s understanding adoption of big data has a long way to go, and it needs to overcome hurdles that currently preclude all but the biggest players from getting into the big data space; costs and resources key among them, never mind issues around transparency, privacy and ownership of all that data…

prithwijit“Prithwijit’s MA Music Business Management Project paper is an empirical study of the use of social media Big Data to better anticipate consumers’ tastes and better inform A&R processes and decision-making.  This paper successfully analysed current business trends incorporating latest research and industry-based interviews and as such offers an overview of an emerging and exciting field of study.” Graham Ball – Lecturer, MA Music Business Management, University of Westminster

Future Thinking is a strand of activity driven by the foresight and critical thinking of outstanding MA Music Business Management students at University of Westminster.  Topics covered under this strand of activity are driven by the students themselves – usually the focus of their MA thesis, the publication of which is typically followed by the presentation of their paper and a moderated industry panel discussion.  A MusicTank Business and Innovation award is presented to a maximum of two postgraduates a year – view the award and its winners, here MA MBM Programme Director, Sally Gross will introduce Future Thinking and this paper at this event.  

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