[UPDATED] As music marketing becomes more and more data-driven, an increasing number of companies are popping up and promising they have the analytics tool to make it all work for you. But with such an abundance of options, picking can be difficult. Here we look at how to choose the perfect music analytics tool for you.
Guest post by Dmitry Pastukhov of Soundcharts
As a result of the digital revolution, the music industry (and music marketing in particular) has become more data-driven than ever.
Nowadays, artists and music professionals increasingly use data to inform their decisions, test their assumptions, back up their pitches, and ultimately find out what works and what doesn’t.
The newfound centrality of data has led to a proliferation of solutions, companies and apps to supply it, but this just creates a new problem: Which of these tools are indispensable and which are overkill? Which information should artists prioritize to grow their careers?
6 Factors of a Successful Music Analytics Tool
With so many channels and mediums available for musicians, getting a comprehensive view of an artist’s career that collects data from all platforms can be difficult. The ideal data analytics solution should track data across a multitude of sources, both local and global.
For example, many of the analytics tools that do a decent job of tracking artist data across the digital space overlook analog data, which is still a vital part of the picture. Data like radio airplay is hard to get, but it can provide critical insight into how your music is performing in specific regional markets.
2. Clear and Actionable
In the music industry, one day of delay can mean a lost opportunity. You need to notice a trend quickly and act on it immediately to get an advantage. But music professionals typically don’t have time to sit around and comb through huge amounts of disconnected, raw data.
The ideal data analytics tool should do it for you: focusing your attention on what’s important, rather than swamping you with numbers.
3. Clean and Trustworthy
Music metadata is notoriously inaccurate. There are no industrywide standards for collecting music metadata, and metadata doesn’t need to be verified before a song is released. As a result, music metadata is fragmented across different mediums and platforms.
That’s why it’s so critical that analytics tools (especially ones aggregating data from multiple sources) do an excellent job in sifting through metadata and keeping their database clean and complete. After all, this data is the basis of your strategy and investment decisions, so you have to trust it.
Once again, your response time is everything. Music pros have to stay agile and adapt on the fly, and real-time data is critical to providing the instant feedback necessary to do this.
Identifying and capitalizing on opportunities quickly is more important now, in the digital age, than ever. Artists can go viral and become an international sensation in a matter of days. A song can get radio airplay and become popular in any local market in any corner of the world. Real-time data allows you to spot these trends rapidly and take advantage of them.
Every music career is built on collaboration: dozens of partners working across different companies, from managers and marketing teams to publishers, promoters and booking agents, all working together to develop an artist’s career. Managing this collective can sometimes be a challenge, so the ideal analytics tool makes it easy to share the latest data with your team.
To sum it all up,
The advent of the digital age has made the music industry not only more data-driven but also more competitive, with more artists producing more music than ever. That’s why choosing the right analytics tools is so important: you need tools that can cut through the noise and catch opportunities that others might miss.
There are only a few music analytics tools out there that meet the criteria detailed above. Soundcharts is one: a data and analytics platform that collects digital streaming and radio airplay data — both global and local — and organizes it into digestible insights.
Dmitry Pastukhov is a Brand Manager & Content Creator at soundcharts.com, curious about all things music and data.