Data in Music? 7 Ways Data Has Impacted The Music Industry

Ishika Patel

Ishika Patel

Content Specialist
440 Industries

Introduction - Why Is Data Analytics Useful in the Music Industry?

What we often do not realize is how influential data is within the music industry. Beyond the instruments, vocals,  chords, beats, and tunes there is so much more to the making of a song or album. While artists choose their own lyrics and produce their own videos, it takes a lot of data to know what trends are active at the moment and what the best time would be to drop an album or video. Artists sing with a record company who also receive a large profit and reputation when a “big hit” is produced. These companies will not risk a bad turnout so they use data science in specific parts of their company such as marketing to study social media trends and consumer feedback. 

In this post, we’re going to look at 7 ways the music industry is impacted by data. Here’s a breakdown of the post’s content. Enjoy!

  1. Tracking on Social Media
  2. Soundcharts
  3. Steaming
  4. Categorising Music Listeners
  5. Predicting Future Music Trends
  6. Self-Made Artists
  7. Creating Original Music
  8. Conclusions

1. Tracking on social media

The most influential platforms of the current era are social media platforms where news is spread faster than any other network. Applications such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more are constantly streaming music news. You can follow artists, record labels, music pages, and various opinion columns that keep you up to date on the latest music trends. Artists specifically use a technique called “social media tracking” through first-party data. This allows them to track mentions, comments, and posts with their name or content attached to it. Oftentimes, cross channels are used to explore data over multiple platforms at a singular time. Artists are able to see the most accurate information trending on all databases and use it to their advantage. Tracking mentions, reposts, and likes on their page allow companies and artists to come up with action and contingency plans for what their fans would want.

2. Soundcharts

Souncharts are a multipurpose platform which utilizes real-time data displaying overall information of an artists career. This includes playlists, music platform usage (Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, SoundCloud, YouTube), global radio tracking, airplay stats, and more. All of this data not only helps produce the next “big hit”, but also allows for more strategic marketing, sales strategies, product managers, and more. Obtaining all of this information will not only help current stars gain even more of a fanbase, but it will allow the discovery of newer ones as well. All of this information will allow the managers of each artist to understand where they are succeeding and where they are lacking. They can proceed onto improving their techniques and correct shifting their strategies leading to a better outcome!

3. Streaming

We know that music produced within a country is being streamed globally at all times. We hear foreign music all the time on the radio and that is because it was not as popular with the United States prior to recently. What citizens thrive off of is the idea of being unique and expressing interest for something that is not typically considered the norm. Research studies show that the most frequent consumers will no longer come from cities and developed countries, but rather small towns and villages from Africa, South America, and Middle Eastern countries. The music industry has been trying to adhere to the needs of these towns so they can access the same music we can. They will need to incorporate translation, lower prices, lower data rates, and make sure the music can be streamed through the system the civilians in these countries can afford.

4. Categorizing Music Listeners

We’ve discussed a lot about how AI helps artists and music companies themselves, but let’s dive into how it can benefit music listeners as well. Have you ever seen a playlist made for you generated by the app you are using based on the music you have listened to? Well, believe it or not, that is the use of data and AI! The applications analyze the types of music genres you listen to and then make an organized list of those same songs and others that are similar to it. Another example of data usage on music platforms is at the end of the year when apps such as Spotify and Apple Music show your most listened to songs and albums. This is another form of data analytics being used, as the database computes your frequencies per song, album, and artist to determine what you listened to the most all year. Since these platforms are able to predict other artists you would enjoy based on what you already listen to, they can help you discover new artists. Since this process helps both the artist and the listener, it is a very crucial part of the analytics process within the music industry.

5. Predicting Future Music Trends

One of the largest components of creation is always looking at what is going to come next. When a fashion line is released, investors always want to know what is in store for next season. The same mindset is prevalent in the music industry. Once an artist releases an album or song, companies, investors, and their fanbase always wonder what is next. This is where data comes into play. Data such as chart metrics analyze all audience data and what is trending now vs what will possibly be trending in the future. Data such as Social media audience, streaming audience, domestic/international airplay data, and digital platform data. Using these features the music companies are able to understand what the fanbase is looking for. Proceeding the dropping of an album, managers get right into looking through social media and sound chart numbers to understand the reactions of the music listeners. They do an extensive research with these numbers and mentions and capitalize on the information for the future. The artist immediately begins planning for the next music phase and all of this data allows for accurate predictions of what will land as a “big hit”.

6. Self-Made Artists

Everyone has heard the phrase “Sound-Cloud” rapper at some point in their life. I think it is important for us to understand how a completely unknown artist can gain a fanbase in just a few months if they use their data to their advantage. In order to boost their reputation in the music world, they often try to mimic beats of songs that have made it on the charts. The technology used in music then picks up these trends and sends out algorithms of songs that would make a company or investor money. Oftentimes newer artists pour tons of money into a company thinking that with their connections and understanding of the industry they will make it to the top. However, this is a mistake because aside from signing with a company you must also get yourself known with a label and pursue a record deal as well as stream constantly on music platforms. This is where data comes into play. Big data specifically will help stream new artists and their content and put their music in the “for you” playlists they generate for their users. I mentioned earlier that platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music generate playlists for their users based on their most listened to artists and genres. They factor in the newer artists as well if their genre of music fits with the rest of the playlist being made. Then these users will notice the new artists and their music will spike in streaming numbers. From then on it is a domino effect because they will continue referring the songs to their peers.

7. Creating Original Music

It is not universally known that there are some platforms that create original music. Jukedeck is an example of a company that is investing their time and money into producing an AI composer that writes original music completely on its own. Various applications have adapted Jukedeck, such as Tik Tok. This is how Tik Tok has composed their own sounds and trends because acquiring Jukedeck has allowed them to produce content unique to them. Jukedeck also produces content that trains and teaches their customers about music composition to boost creativity. It produces tunes and beats that are equivalent to what is trending at the moment so the music will gain traction from the fanbase. Original content is very difficult to make because you need to gather various beats and make sure they mesh well with your vocal chords and tune.

Conclusions

There are so many ways data is being used in the world today. We often do not think of its use for the artistic business but they are in fact making a huge impact in those industries. Behind the scenes of creating soundtracks and fulfilling what a fanbase would want to hear is a lot of analyzed data. To produce the right thing at the right time is very difficult because a singular individual can not know what would make a “big hit” for themselves. They need to incorporate a lot of raw data and use that to predict future trends for what would give them a lot of views and streaming numbers. This will make money for the company/record label and the artist as well. Data influences all fields in their own unique ways and data within the music industry is just one of them.

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Data in Music? 7 Ways Data Has Impacted The Music Industry Data analytics has become a factor of great impact in the music industry, let's see how data makes or breaks your streaming success.
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Ishika Patel

Ishika Patel

Ishika Patel is a sophomore Honors College student at the University of Pittsburgh double majoring in Finance and Business Information Systems with a minor in Sociology. She was born and raised in a small town in New Jersey called South Brunswick. Ishika has been interested in pursuing financial services and learning more about data analytics. She is most excited to work with 440 Industries this semester as her first internship experience. She will be able to dive into the business world and complete an experience she has never been exposed to before!

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