How to... use online data to market your music

Online analytics provider Musicmetric gives top tips on navigating the ‘chaos’ of the internet and improving how you market your music…

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 22 Oct 2013
  • min read
What do Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram all have in common?

Other than being addictions for smartphone users, these platforms provide musicians and record labels with great ways of connecting with fans.

The knock-on effect of such a plethora of digital services is the creation of vast swathes of data for marketeers to wade through. Likes, retweets and other indicators of fan engagement are all potential areas of analysis for labels and artists looking at where they should play gigs and release their music. Musicmetric, the digital company which led a recent BPI seminar on how to best use this information, believes the challenge for the music industry is to understand the potential power of this data.

The company specialises in tracking social media, peer to peer and sentiment on the web via ITS own dashboard but offered a variety of tips in THE recent interactive session. Check out the advice below...

Data is huge - but manageable

Figures quoted by Musicmetric show that 750m photos are uploaded to Facebook every two days. 48 hours of footage is published on YouTube every two minutes while new platforms - Vine, Pinterest and Instagram – are emerging all the time.

It’s easy to get lost or confused in the chaos of the internet, especially when there so many platforms to choose from. So how do you navigate your way through it? Well labels and artists need to focus on the online areas which are most relevant to their audience. Then you can start to measure relevant online conversations.

Data does not require huge technical knowledge or resource

There are numerous ways of accessing data and analysing it without devoting too much resource. Google Analytics and Facebook insights are two free ways of drilling down in greater detail into online trends and behaviours. So there are various platforms available for you to help you measure your data and construct a strategy based on the findings.

How can data help? It can tell you the appetite for an artist to tour in a certain location, best time to tweet about a certain release or launch a new project.

Don’t forget piracy data

Piracy should not be seen as a dirty word when it comes to analysing data. It can help predict sales and potential new audiences.

For example, BitTorrent information can allow a label or artist to assess demand for music in a certain location. The key is opportunity as every illegal download is a potential customer. If a region is particularly prevalent for piracy, then labels should ask whether an artist is being marketed correctly in that territory, has an artist played there recently or is that artist’s music readily accessible legally.

Online networks do not replace real relationships

Marketing is based on relationships and networks. And online versions of these relationships formed by data do not replace those in the 'real' world. Digital marketing is the perfect accompaniment alongside instinct and current relationships for a marketing campaign.

Data isn’t going anywhere…

So you’d best get used to it. The sooner you embrace new technology, the better it will be for you and your marketing campaigns. Data is definitely here to stay and is only getting to become more important as the number of available platforms increases.