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Yes I agree, but then again, digital data can be so easily manipulated. What exactly is real? a million youtube plays for an artist that only 1000 people buy when he gets released? If you've got the financials to cover it you'll get 1 million plays in a week! There are companies buying and selling plays and likes online just like there were record companies before digital buying their own releases by the buckload so as to get a hit record. It is laughable and pretty sad at the same time, but to me, "the industry" seems to know very well how people function. As it always did.


i thought this article was going to be about how musicians get hustled by data. i see it all the time. someone gets mediocre results, but if you can put it into a sharp looking graph, man they think everything is great.

Michelle Galas

Very True the only place you can see where the fans are real and your online music marketing and promotion has worked and get result is when the fans come to see the artist perform and buy tickets...
Everything can be bought even followers on twitter (read the case of Lady Gaga with fake twitter followers.
it is about strategy that we must think and real engagement with real people..that we must operate, people are datas but still human too.


Hate to break it to ya's however the quote is "Data is the new oil" and it came from a CloudCamp in Baltimore.

Ben F

Data itself is useful only to the point that those making decisions on behalf of the artist can interpret it. In my interactions with artist managers, antiquated systems such as Soundscan still provide the most effective data regarding an artist's fan base. This data is both tangible and accurate because there is no way to falsify an album purchase. Although it might be important to see how an artist's Facebook and Twitter followers have changed over time, cause and effect are largely ambiguous and decisions are assumption based.


At a time when stardom is becoming defined by the numbers of clic, it might be a good thing for everybody in this new ecosytem to have a more transparent accounting system.

Stacey G

1 Million plays a week won't translate to other metrics like ticket/merch sales or even comments to evaluate actual fan engagement. You have to look at the metrics as a whole and if they don't make sense then obviously someone may have paid for their 1 million plays and it would be better to take a closer look or pass on the artist all together.


This new level of data is great as an artist, but if I were to put myself in the shoes of the "gatekeepers" then the pudding always has and always will be how good you can draw at shows. I don't think it matters how many likes, followers, views, etc you have - if you can pack shows you will get some sort of deal.

Data Systems

I really enjoy to read this awesome blog post.

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