How Sony Music Uses Data FOR CONNECTING Artists With Fans
For the first decade of the 2000s, the recording industry was struggling to save itself. By 2014, with digital singles decimating album sales, coupled with the rise of unlawful file sharing, revenues hit an all-time low. The continuing future of labels appeared bleak. But around that same period, streaming was starting to pick up steam, and the market was plotting a new future for itself. It was a future built on data. On one hand, the change toward cloud-based libraries presented new challenges by marking the end of music ownership; customers would no longer hold physical albums, or actually scroll through documents on their mp3 players. But on Streaming Music , streaming offered labels an unprecedented possibility to find out about their listeners-who and where they were, what tunes they skipped, what devices they listened on and more. “We understood right from the start the importance of data as the business model shifted from possession to usage via streaming,” says Dennis Kooker, president of global digital business and U.S. Digital streaming provides labels new tools for observing how supporters connect to its artists’ music. Based on data from the RIAA.Quantities reflect select media types and may not add up to 100 because of rounding. Today, a lot more than 60 million people purchase streaming subscription programs. It helps that Sony Music oversees major labels like Columbia, Epic and RCA. Through them, it has access to an enormous portfolio of hit-making artists and an incredible number of dedicated fans. Even more impactful is usually what Sony can perform with the data. By carefully tracking its billions of streams, sights, wants, tags, clicks, shares and purchases, and by pairing that data with details from newsletters, social media sites and surveys, the business creates an in depth behavioral profile of the hearing audience and will use that to discover fresh listeners, tailor tours and focus on another generation of supporters. “We can do this in the most macro sense for the globe, and we can do that in the most micro feeling for a single city,” says Kooker. Despite a tough start to the web era, the music market is currently rebuilding itself.Sony Music-and indeed, recording as a whole-is riding on 4 years of healthy development. Below, five innovative ways the music industry is definitely using data to serve performers and grow business today, at Sony and beyond. At Sony, streaming provides ushered in a new period of data transparency for both employees and artists. While Sony Music workers have their own internal analytics tools, musicians access data through the Artist Portal, accessible through desktop as well as app. The Portal allows artists to go deep into audio streams, video sights, album and monitor downloads, tags and shares of their music. They are able to sort listens by melody, region or time period and filter for particular streaming providers or listening products. Some artists may not need the granular appear, and that’s fine, says Kooker. But Original Music who do can use the info to target audiences in their songwriting, touring or public campaigns. “Our objective is to provide our artists with as very much relevant data around target audience, market trends and industrial opportunities as feasible,” says Kooker.In the analog period, artists were often in the dark about their income. Royalty obligations came only once or two times per year, therefore musicians had to wait to find what they’d made. But this past year, Sony Music introduced “real-time royalties” and “cash out” features to its Artist Portal. Now musicians can see immediately how much cash they’ve received from streaming services and other digital partners. Better yet, they are able to draw down money at any time. They no longer have to wait until the end of a royalty period to be paid. For a better watch of where each dollar is usually coming from, artists may also kind the royalties by area, source or time period. “All of the data that’s available is aimed at super-serving our artists and advertising transparency,” says Kooker. Artists still generally make far more money from touring than they do from streaming or album product sales, so that it pays to publication shows in cities where the fanbase is definitely most fervent.While tour schedules aren’t always handled straight by record labels, a band’s touring supervisor could analyze geographic hearing data to find dense pockets of followers. If they discover streaming hotspots in New Orleans and Seattle, for example, they could update the 12 months’s tour with more dates in the U.S. South and Pacific Northwest. In another situation, a label may use data to set artists together based on overlapping lover profiles. If, for instance, an up-and-arriving artist routinely views her biggest spike in streams late at night in cities, then she has a good chance of winning new enthusiasts by joining the costs of a more set up artist with the same fanbase of city-dwelling night time owls. In age CD singles, labels were expected to predict in advance which tracks were most likely to become hits. But streaming provides leeway to regulate the strategy predicated on listener preference. “We can use consumption patterns of early fan engagement with tracks to greatly help inform decisions of which songs we should focus on for playlist strategies and extended promotion promotions,” says Kooker.