Big data’s application in the music industry

Business intelligence and analytics solutions are essential to managing the massive load of information that enterprises in all sectors deal with on a regular basis. This necessity becomes even more pervasive in light of the big data revolution of the past several years. Recently, various examples of analytics' purpose in a less-talked-about field – the music industry – have surfaced, proving the benefit of these solutions and methods within the sector.

Applications in music streaming platforms
The popularity of streaming music services has grown exponentially within the past two years, as applications such as Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Slacker Radio and others have demanded the attention of millions of listeners around the world. According to Forbes, analytics have a significant role to play in the way these platforms track and aggregate the listening habits of their subscribers. This can be beneficial on a consumer level, as the services can suggest new artists that users are likely to be interested in based on genre similarities. Simultaneously, favorable features that analytics can engender may be more likely to convince subscribers to upgrade their membership to a paid premium level.

Jack Isquith, senior vice president of content programming and strategic development for Slacker Radio, spoke highly of the data that his company could collect and use as a result of analytics. Speaking to the news source, he said, "This data is far more sophisticated and rich than the data of the traditional music industry and chart methodology."

Metrics measured and organized through analytics include the amount of times songs are played or skipped, as well as the level of traction they are receiving on social media based on actions such as Facebook likes and tweets. Additionally, users may appreciate charts that list the most popular songs on the services in given regions – a measurement that Spotify offers.

Avoiding data overload in music
In a separate Forbes blog post, former producer and music industry expert identified one hurdle that the sector has to avoid when dealing with analytics: organizing and properly addressing all of that data – including play counts from the aforementioned streaming services. If a record label doesn't have a solution in place to manage data from digital and physical sales, accounting, particularly with regard to artist royalties, is bound to be a nightmare. A proper business intelligence platform can solve this problem.

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