Music Matters: Data – the Currency of the Music Business by Ben Harrell

As an artist in the UK, making good music is only the first step. The data behind the music can introduce the music industry to your brand. Understanding the difference between the two is a key aspect to your growth, mission and vision. An artist typically has a goal to create and share, and two words that should be important to an artist – or their team – are Analytics and Reporting. Before your music hits the shelves or is made available digitally, the work that paints the picture of your brand has already begun.

Official Charts

Charting in the UK as an artist can instantly broaden your reach. Take the time to register your music with Official Charts (OCC) – https://www.officialcharts.com/ – to allow yourself to make a global music footprint. After all, you want as many people as possible to discover you and your music. 

OCC, founded in England, compiles data from digital and physical sales, and provides many genre-specific charts on a weekly basis. The capturing of your digital and physical sales is pivotal in today’s music business. Registering your music with OCC allows your sales to be reported accurately, which will put your product on the radar of the tastemakers looking for new music. 

Labels and advertisers will evaluate your sales to determine how you fare against your peers, as well as your brand power. This can ultimately lead to opening doors to advertisements and partnerships. The result of this exposure leads to more resources to create and share more music.  

Next Big Sound
Analytics help an artist create a roadmap for the future. Next Big Sound (NBS) – https://www.nextbigsound.com/ – is a tool that the artist and music industry can utilise to monitor the impact and influence of a professional music maker’s brand. 

Each social media and music distribution platform have dashboards in place to track interactions with fans and sales. NBS pulls data from multiple social sites to provide a high level and detailed view of the artist and how consumers interact with them. 

So how do we benefit from using NBS? 
A couple of days after connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts, you will begin to see data captured. This data, combined with other sources, build your NBS profile. Based on how followers react to your posts; stream your music on platforms like Pandora, and view other connected sites, NBS will designate an ‘artist stage’. 

Artist stage, which is based on your overall fan base, is broken into five categories: Undiscovered, Promising, Established, Mainstream and Epic. You should have a goal to move up in status, which ultimately translates to the growth of your brand. Use the information provided by your connected sources to continue to build relationship with your followers.

The Currency of Music
Music plus data equals recognition. This a formula for the currency of the music business. There are many tools that help your brand’s impact, but Official Charts and Next Big Sound are great starting points. 

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