Tag Archives: music

Music streaming uncovers key data-driven consumer insights

As people use more mobile devices and apps, uncovering
actionable insights in marketing is becoming a very difficult task. Marketers
have a ton of data, but few companies have figured out how to effectively
leverage that data to deliver targeted content at scale.
Data-driven insights offer a key to effectively engaging
consumers. But how does one collect and analyze enough data to engage
individuals in a scalable approach? Streaming data may be the answer,
according to a recent
. And subscription streaming is becoming a key driver of the nearly
$15-billion music industry, according to the International Federation of the
Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a music lobby group, which recently released
its annual Digital
Music Report

As more consumers use music streaming services, companies
like Spotify and Pandora are mining those streams for user insights.
Spotify’which expects to have 100 million users by the end of this year’knows
how and when people listen to music. The company knows this by not only
tracking the songs people are streaming, but through users who label their
activities, according to Spotify Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Levick.
“People are soundtracking their lives and creating
playlists with names like ‘shower,’” Levick said during a presentation at
the IAB’s Mixx conference. “We have over 39,000 shower playlists on
Spotify.” By analyzing patterns related to shower playlists, Spotify
uncovered numerous insights about its users.
In fact, Spotify learned that most (44 percent) of the users
who create shower playlists are between ages 18 and 24, followed by 23 percent
of users who are ages 25 to 34. Additionally, 68 percent of the shower
playlists are created by men, compared to 32 percent of women.
Not to mention, music streaming services can help artists
find their fans. For instance, when country music singer Hunter Hayes released
a new single, 21, earlier this year, he used data from Spotify to plot his
21 tour stops. Hayes released 21 on streaming platforms before
physical retail or digital stores. Based on that data, Spotify identified
cities with the highest volume of users listening to the singer’s songs
compared to other locations. Hayes performed in places like Western Carolina
University, Kent State University, West Point Eisenhower Hall Theater, and
University of Oklahoma.
“That data’along with country radio airplay and single
sales ‘ is invaluable to identify where you have an active, passionate audience
currently excited about an artist’s music,” Warner Music Nashville’s
Jeremy Holley told Mashable.

Spotify’s competitor, Pandora, offers artists a similar
feature through tools for analyzing fan engagement on its music streaming
service. With Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), Pandora lets artists know which
songs are performing well based on factors like the number of people listening
to the song, the number of likes the song garners, as well as the general
location of their fans. Real-time data from streamed music can also allow
brands to target listeners beyond basic demographic information. Besides
targeting listeners based on age or gender, brands can look at the days of the
week and organize around what it is people are doing when they’re doing it and target smarter.

Spotify Looks Inside Data & Music Intelligence for Insights

New Spotify blog is
the music streaming service’s solution to personalized discovery

Attention music lovers and market researchers alike: Spotify
has created a The Spotify Insights Blog
that will use consumer data to highlight how the world is listening to music.  The music
blog will feature articles about music and how people experience it – pulling
from the company’s own listening data and music intelligence from The Echo
Nest, the technology company Spotify bought in March that powers Web radio,
recommendations, and playlists.
According to Eliot van Buskirk, Spotify’s ‘Data Storyteller’
who runs the new blog, there will be several articles published each week about
the way music has changed over time.  “It
will create new ways for people to listen,” Buskirk told
in a recent interview. “It can be daunting when there is so much
music out there.”
Working with the company’s analysts on these musically-driven
scientific experiments, Van Buskirk said his intent is to keep telling these
stories, releasing these fascinating maps, info-graphics, articles, more
lengthy than a regular company blog. It’s a way to get these stories to anyone
who’s curious, including music fans, fans of data trivia, and journalists. 
‘Most companies don’t open their inner data stores to the
outside,’ he explained. ‘We want to turn it into these clear-cut nuggets of,
hopefully, entertainment that’s definitely scientifically driven.’
With streaming music
like Spotify growing more popular every day, their catalogs of millions
of songs have solved one problem for consumers: access to nearly all the music
in the world without breaking the bank. But, have also created another problem:
with all that music at customers’ fingertips, how do they find the songs they
like but don’t yet know? Spotify is solving this personalization conflict, along
with video compatriots like Netflix and YouTube.
“A lot of the time we don’t know what we’re going to
find until we start looking,” said Buskirk. “The idea is to be
rigorous with the data and expose our methodology, being as scientific as we
can and telling as many reality-based stories as we can.”

About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the 
Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print
journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and
technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld
and World Congress for Business Analysts
, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.  

Universal Music Insights Chief Keeps Beat with Change

Researcher Demonstrates Artists Aren’t the Only Creative Force in Music

By Marc Dresner, IIR

The music industry has been the poster child for disruption for decades now.

Remember the advent of Napster and peer-to-peer file sharing (a.k.a. piracy on steroids) back in the late ’90s?

How about a couple years later, when a portable digital music player redefined a computer company and’

Well, you know how the story ends. Or put more accurately, where things stand today.

This is the environment in which Alisa Olander and her team provide insights. And frankly, it makes consumer packaged goods look pretty sleepy.

Universal Music Group’s VP, Strategic Insights & Research recently sat down with me for a brief discussion

Alisa Olander

about her role and day-to-day.

‘In a single day we could be working on a Lady Gaga or Katy Perry release to streaming consumption to pricing jazz to A&R research for an emerging band to sizing the market for a new product to helping karaoke get year-round positioning in retail stores or helping brand partnerships with various branding opportunities,’ Olander told The Research Insighter.

When you think about music distribution and consumption, how music is accessed and the role of changing technology, the impact on business models’not to mention the complex, intensely personal ways in which music touches consumers’it’s clear that the artists aren’t the only creative force in music today.

Listen to the podcast! 

Download the transcript! 

Editor’s note: Alisa Olander will be presenting ‘Data Visualization: The Subtle Art of Data’ at The Market Research Event 2013 taking place October 21-23 in Nashville, TN.
For information or to register, please visit The Market Research Event website

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.