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The Science of Music: How Big Data Is Transforming the Music Industry?

The Science of Music
Published on Mar 16, 2022

The music industry is becoming very competitive. There is an ever-mounting pressure to produce the next big hit. While producing quality music is a priority, there is no point in creating music that people won’t like or listen to. Hence, the industry is turning to something more concrete that will help it understand the general listener's changing taste in music and reap greater profits. This is where data science comes in. 

With advanced big data analytics tools to monitor music patterns and preferences, the music industry is enabled to predict the next big music trend or hit. This is the reason so many music companies are turning to data science to aid them in determining which songs will cater to a larger audience. 

Data science and music are emerging as a combination that might baffle a lot of people.  

But the question that arises is- 

How can music be influenced by data?  

The answer is more complicated than usual. 

Today, production companies are allowing artists to choose their own music, write their songs, and produce music videos based on what they deem relevant for their brand and listeners' preferences.   

The music industry is becoming heavily commercialized. The goal now is to commercial musicians and create music that will appeal to a larger audience and make a profit. Music productions want people to listen to their music and spend their money on albums, concerts, merchandise, and more.  

Analytics is playing an important role in transforming the future of the music industry. With several music companies discovering new applications for analytics, these tools are streamlining many critical aspects of the music industry. 

Data analytics is providing the music industry with a leg up on what listeners are listening to, from where, when, and how many times they are listening to a specific song or a genre. 

Read more: Super Bowl Meets Data Analytics: This Is Where the Fireworks Begin

Analytics in the Music Industry over the Years 

Technology and the advancing analytic tools have done so many good and not-so-good things to the world of music, including how we consume and sell music.  

While decades ago, the focus was more on releasing music from artists trying to make a name for themselves, the situation now is evolving manifold.  Companies are now generating more revenue from digital albums, tours, and merchandise. This rising competition is leading to an increase in the use of analytics tools to create music that will satisfy the audiences and make a profit. 

The rise of data analytics has made it easy for production companies to get all the information required to cater to their listeners. Analytics now is providing them access to tons of data to study, which could help improve profits. 

Understanding the Relation: Data Science and the Music Industry 

There is no denying the fact that the way listeners are consuming music has evolved over the course of time. Until a couple of decades ago, albums were sold in the form of cassettes and compact discs that were brought through designated sellers. Artists would go on world tours and interact with fans. This scenario is now changing. Listeners are now turning to YouTube, SoundCloud, and Spotify to listen to their favorite artists and music. 

These websites offer sign-up options for premium and ad-free services, thereby making them a great medium to collect data on listeners' preferences. These platforms are enabling record labels and artists to garner more audience and profits each year. There is also increased dependence on concerts, ad revenue from YouTube & Spotify, merchandise, and brand deals to generate revenue money.  

Also, social media is playing an influential role in making it easy for aspiring artists to put out their musical content. However, the aspects that make music agencies stand out from their competitors is the data and use of data science & music analytics to monitor what the public is listening to. 

Big Data comes along

Big data and analytics are playing a key role in this modern-day romance. From recommending music channels to selecting the perfect playlist, data is redefining the dynamics of the music industry and the relationship between music, the platforms, and its listeners. 

In the last decade, the music industry was barely taking measures to understand its audience. With downloading platforms taking over, music companies are finding ways to track the listening habits of the listeners, make new recommendations, and suggest new artistic genres. 

Data is opening the floodgates wide open. Companies now have access to detailed information about listeners, such as when, where, how, and who is listening to what. The aim, now, is to understand the customer behavior insights. With the employment of big data, the digital era is transforming this raw and unstructured music to be digitized and analyzed. 

Read more: Business Intelligence vs Data Analytics: Understanding the Critical Differences  

The Rise of Music Analytics 

Data science is helping big music companies to analyze trends and envision the next big hit. Music platforms like Spotify are regularly releasing trends based on the kind of music users are listening to.  

Production agencies are taking advantage of this data available to trace the trajectory of music that might appeal to a larger audience. This trend is nudging artists to produce music that fits the listeners’ music tastes. Such data is then being used by the marketing department of the music companies to make sure the records sell and create the required buzz.  

With the music industry getting competitive, it is important to get listeners talking about music as it helps music companies collect consumers' feedback and even more data, which will enable them to determine key future decisions like music video release dates, concert dates, and more. 

The Music Industry is Predicting the Future of Music 

The music industry is setting great focus on predicting the future. This is taking place at all levels of granularity – from deciding what the listers are streaming, the streaming platforms, what's next on their playlist to discovering the next biggest industry hit. A recent trend is showing that big data possesses the ability to do just that.  

Big data assists in predicting the position of their records and their rank on the Billboard charts. Data Analytics has also found its footing in live music performances. With music contracts being the music industry's largest source of revenue, the future is expected to offer increasingly creative ways of providing new experiences to listeners. 

Producing The Next Big Hit of the Music Industry 

The first thing that comes to our mind when we hear the words hit/sensational song is a particular artist or band or a song with a fantastic beat or chorus. Big music companies strategize to produce similar-sounding music from various artists. This may include resemblance to genre, lyrics, or even the beat.  

The reason is simple: through years of analysis, big music productions are directing their attention towards a specific kind of music - a kind that more people will likely listen to or buy. 

The music industry is designing its business model around making listeners accustomed to a certain type of music. This certain type is determined by music analytics. Music production agencies are trying to provoke their audience to listen to only their music. This is the reason you might have witnessed that when streaming music on platforms like YouTube and Spotify, they recommend musicians from the same record label. 

With the increasing influence of data analytics, producing the next big musical hit is no longer about raw talent anymore; it takes years of data and choosing a melody whose lyrics & genre have relevance at the time of release. Thus, improving the chance of making it famous among listeners.  

Conclusion 

Data science is disputing the music industry. While the primary motivation behind employing data science is to reap as much profit as possible, there is no rebutting the idea that the use of data science in the music industry is helping the industry along several dimensions. 

From forecasting trends to employing music analytics to predicting when’s the best time to release music, set concert dates, and more, data science is leaving lasting imprints in the music industry. This trend will definitely change the course of the music industry in the years to come. 

With offices in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, London, Zurich, Pune, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide. A leader in Data Analytics, SG Analytics focuses on leveraging data management & analytics and data science to help businesses discover new insights and build strategies for business growth.

Contact us today if you are looking to make critical data-driven decisions that stimulate accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.  


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