BeatDeck, a new web metrics service, launched this week with free service for musicians. It's the first stage of a larger vision but the key for musicians is the offer of a free dashboard for tracking one's social media and fan activity across multiple accounts. Definitely worth checking out to see if it will fit your needs.
BeatDeck is still fresh and fairly bare bones with quick intro's for orientation. Sign-up is quick and easy with a focus on connecting to your social networks for metrics.
The dashboard gives you a quick look at fans, plays, a weekly sentiment rating and fan demographics.
Josh Constine got a tour and clarified some of the details of what happens when you use BeatDeck's "publishing system" which I assume is an actual media player:
"For even deeper analytics about their music, artists can share their songs to social networks through BeatDeck’s publishing system. This gives them a heatmap of which parts of their songs users are skiping to, pausing at, or rewinding to so they can listen again. Conversion metrics indicate which channels best turn listeners into fans, and where they’re getting reshared."
Clearly the real power of BeatDeck gets unlocked if one streams music from BeatDeck as well.
According to Constine, BeatDeck is hoping this approach will allow them to develop data insights of interest to larger labels and A&R's as well as retail outlets.
I'm not sure how the market for such data operates but finding an easy integrated way for artists to track social media and web metrics is rapidly increasing in importance.
So, for individual acts, comparing Next Big Sound and BeatDeck's free options would be the place to start if you're just getting into this kind of thing.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.