Music Marketing

The State Of Online Music [Stats & Analysis]

Screen shot 2012-01-19 at 1.07.53 AMNext Big Sound, the music analytics website that continuously tracks the number of plays, views, fans, comments, mentions, and other key metrics across the major web properties, yesterday released their 2011 State of Online Music – and the numbers are quite staggering: 64 billion new plays, 16 billion profile views, and 3.5 billion new fan connections. 

Metrics include data taken from SoundCloud, Twitter, Vevo, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and Wikipedia. Interestingly enough, the largest percentage growth came from SoundCloud at 231% (which might have something to do with their recent funding of $50 million). Also interesting was how the top ranking artists varied between a fan's choice of media consumption. Generally lesser “known” (and even unsigned) artists like The Weeknd, DJ Bl3nd, and The White Panda topped the ranks on SoundCloud, while the majors’ usual suspects (Bieber, Gaga, Rihanna, Perry, and so on) topped the rest of the major properties.

Another notable finding from the report is how each network displays its own characteristics around the most popular day of the week and the top artists on the site. From looking at the data, the biggest day for artists on Facebook and Vevo seem to be Thursday, while YouTube’s music activity is highest on Fridays and Saturdays, and SoundCloud on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

NBS’s “Social 50” metrics summarizes the top artists across all social music networks. While Justin Bieber easily claimed the #1 spot (which he held for roughly the entire year), several artists also made the jump from Next Big Sound’s chart for up-and-coming artists to their “Social 50”. Skrillex, for instance, made his debut on the Social 50 on June 16th but was on the NBS chart November 11th – a full seven months earlier.

According to Next Big Sound, SoundCloud and Twitter showed triple digit growth compared to 2010 (although they were starting from a much smaller base). Sites like Vevo, Facebook and YouTube all experienced massive music growth and sites like Rdio, Spotify and Pandora were added to their system in the middle of last year. 

What’s important to keep in mind when viewing the infographic is that each of these numbers represents a unique interaction between an artist and a single fan. With no shortage of artists across dozens of music sites, and no end site for dwindling music sales, the real challenge for artists and industry personnel lay in gaining attention and rising above all the clutter, in order to generate a genuine “buzz" in which to capitalize upon. 

Click here to view Next Big Sound’s 2011 State of Online Music.

This post is by regular Hypebot contributor and independent music business professional & musician, Hisham Dahud (@HishamDahud)

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