How the music industry uses your data to create a hit

The data created by music streaming, sharing and buying is gathered by the music industry and then carefully analyzed, to be used for creation of music and discovering the next “big hits”. Applications like the ancient Shazam, are the industry best tools for predicting the new hit songs and future stars. Shazam’s searches, as opposed to song streams or YouTube plays, show interest. They show that the listener likes a song and wants to hear it again. According to a latest article in the Atlantic online magazine, “By studying 20 million searches every day, Shazam can identify which songs are catching on, and where, before just about anybody else.”

Shazam app is just one of the many tools used from the industry, the Atlantic reports: “Concert promoters study Spotify listens to route tours through towns with the most fans, and some artists look for patterns in Pandora streaming to figure out which songs to play at each stop on a tour.”

Streaming and social media data are also used to track emerging artists and new hits. One of the best measurements that can be used is the number of visits to a band’s Wikipedia page. Much like a Shazam search, a visit to a band’s Wikipedia page shows the desire to learn—and hear—more from the artist.

All these data sources, analysis and the predictions based on them are good for business, but arent’t they bad for the music? Aren’t they modeling the latest hits to sound very similar? Or aren’t they making us to listen what everybody else is listening?

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