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

Data Analytics in Music Industry

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 Data Influence Music?  

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 to 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.  

Importance of Data Analytics in Music  

Data analytics has significantly altered the direction of the music industry. This shift is viewed as a blessing for the professionals working there. 

With the music business becoming increasingly competitive, building pressure exists to create the next great hit. But while generating high-quality music is important, there is no purpose in creating music that is not appreciated or listened to. As a result, the industry is moving to something solid to grasp the shifting tastes of regular listeners and bridge the revenue gap. This is where big data analytics comes into the picture. 

Data analytics is playing a critical part in shaping the future of the music industry. 

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

With the growing number of music companies discovering new applications for analytics tools, there is a greater possibility of streamlining important aspects of their industry for growth. However, the landscape is still a little unpredictable of what changes data analytics will bring to the industry. 

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

How can music be influenced by data analytics

Analytics in the Music Industry over the Years 

Technology and 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 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. 

Role of Data Science in Music 

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. 

The music industry can forecast the next major music trend thanks to modern big data analytics systems. They help in tracking music patterns and tastes. Many music labels are pivoting to data analytics to enable the industry to determine which songs will appeal to a broader audience. This further allows artists to pick their own music, write new songs, and create music that is important to their brand and the tastes of their audience. 

  • Data science is playing a critical part in shaping the future of the music industry. Many important areas of the music industry are being streamlined as music corporations discover new analytics applications. 

  • Data science and analytics are further equipping the music business with a leg up on what listeners are listening to and where they are listening to a given song or genre. 

  • Big music corporations are integrating data science to examine patterns and anticipate the next big hit in the industry. Companies like Spotify report trends based on the type of music the listeners are listening to on a regular basis.  

  • Music firms are readily using the accumulated data to understand the trajectory of the type of music that appeals to a wide audience. 

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 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  

Data Science and Music Industry 

Challenges in Big Data Analytics for Music 

Despite the countless benefits of data analytics in the media and entertainment industry, it equally presents challenges and ethical considerations.  

  • Data privacy and security are emerging as significant concerns while handling sensitive user information. It is, therefore, vital for the industry to adhere to stringent regulations.  

  •  Algorithmic biases also pose an equally critical risk. It inadvertently favors specific artists and genres over others. This hinders diversity in the industry. Musicians from all backgrounds and cultures should be able to find their audience and monetize the entertainment they work on. 

  • Striking the right balance between creativity and data-driven decision-making is vital to prevent the overreliance on analytics. But the thin line between art and business that has always existed in music needs to find the correct harmony. 

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 used by the marketing analytics 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, and 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.  

The Future of Data Analytics in the Music Industry 

With technology advances, the potential of data analytics in the music industry is set to grow. This will further anticipate developments in analytics tools and processes, thus leading to more sophisticated insights and predictions. And with new business models and revenue streams emerging, they are solidifying the role of data as a driving force behind the ongoing transformation. Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an equally critical role in predicting future consumer behavior and market growth areas.  

Data analytics is set to revolutionize the music industry by providing new opportunities for artists, music producers, and businesses to thrive. By embracing this potential of data-driven decision-making, the sector is on the path of even more significant growth and innovation. 

data Analytics in Music Industry


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. 

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

SG Analytics, recognized by the Financial Times as one of APAC's fastest-growing firms, is a prominent insights and analytics company specializing in data-centric research and contextual analytics. Operating globally across the US, UK, Poland, Switzerland, and India, we expertly guide data from inception to transform it into invaluable insights using our knowledge-driven ecosystem, results-focused solutions, and advanced technology platform. Our distinguished clientele, including Fortune 500 giants, attests to our mastery of harnessing data with purpose, merging content and context to overcome business challenges. With our Brand Promise of "Life's Possible," we consistently deliver enduring value, ensuring the utmost client delight.   

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

  • How does big data benefit artists in the music industry? 

Social media has skyrocketed fan engagement. As the music industry is growing, social media is helping them humanize the artists, further enabling them to identify and study their fan base and connect with them. It is also helping in humanizing the fans and consumers.  

  • What are the biggest challenges in using big data in the music industry? 

One of the critical problems in the current world of music big data is that although the streaming services provide accurate insights to labels and publishers, they come in a format that is incompatible with their accounting systems.  

  • What ethical concerns arise with the use of big data in music? 

Specific areas of concern in big data ethics outline the potential. They include: 

  • Informed consent 

  • Data privacy 

  • Ownership 

  • Algorithm bias 

  • Big data divide 

About SG Analytics       

SG Analytics is an industry-leading global insights and analytics firm providing data-centric research and contextual analytics services to its clients, including Fortune 500 companies, across BFSI, Technology, Media and entertainment, and Healthcare sectors. Established in 2007, SG Analytics is a Great Place to Work® (GPTW) certified company and has a team of over 1100 employees and a presence across the U.S.A., the U.K., Switzerland, Canada, and India.       

Apart from being recognized by reputed firms such as Analytics India Magazine, Everest Group, and ISG, SG Analytics has been recently awarded as the top ESG consultancy of the year 2022 and Idea Awards 2023 by Entrepreneur India in the “Best Use of Data” category.