It’s virtually impossible to be a serious musician in todays climate and not think about some of the more important music metrics.
Whether you’re a huge success or working as an unknown artist, you now have more access than ever before to see the relationship between the music you’re making and the audience that’s listening to it.
But just because you can keep tabs on everything concerning your music doesn’t mean you should, and some metrics are vastly more important than others.
Here are 6 of the most important music metrics to pay attention to that will actually make an impact on your career:
What Is In This Guide?
Why should you care about Shazams? Think about it. If someone hears your song out in public and cares enough to learn about who made it, that’s a powerful action.
Apple Music’s artist analytic platform recently incorporated Shazams into its platform. It can tell you which of your individual songs are being Shazamed the most and where around the world, down to the cities they’re being searched in.
A song seeing a dramatic uptick in Shazams represents momentum fuelled by career-changing things like radio plays and license placements, making this metric something worthy of your attention.
Email List Subscribers
Music industry trends come and go, but your email list subscriber count remains one of the best metrics to measure a career by. Something like an artist’s Instagram follower count used to fill this role, but that’s become confusing and, in some cases, hugely inaccurate due to things like sweeping algorithm changes and the imploding game of buying followers.
Email engagement can tell you a great deal about how many truly devoted fans you have. The audience that’s the most engaged with you and your work will listen to what you have to say, and you’ll easily be able to identify your most avid fans by seeing who reads your emails or who ignores them. Social media “likes” and follows aren’t nearly as clear as email engagement statistics are.
Many unestablished bands launch tours and release albums with the idea that the money they invest will eventually pay off with new fans and critical acclaim. However, without evolving into an ironclad plan for turning a profit, your music career will never grow beyond a hobby.
Paying close attention to whether you’re actually making money from your music or not will reveal important truths you’ll need to be aware of to get the most out of your career. Profit margins can tell you things like, whether touring through specific regions is worth it or not, which songs of yours are performing the best and what merchandise is selling like crazy.
“Conversions” is just fancy sales-speak for winning over new fans represented by metrics like Spotify followers, email subscribers, and playlist adds.
If you’ve just got off the road after a month-long tour and aren’t seeing a sizable uptick in fan conversions, it means something is off with your music, touring strategy, or potentially both.
Refreshing your social media pages over and over again to look for new followers won’t do you any good, but paying attention to conversions after putting out new music and touring will.
Instead of spreading your energy and attention all over, direct it to the right places when it really matters to.
Playlist & Radio Adds
In todays climate, playlist and radio adds are crucial metrics for identifying where your music is being featured. Blogs still get a fair amount of attention, but nothing’s more telling than statistics showing you which playlists and radio stations are featuring your music.
We pitch our work to blogs and printed publications in the hopes that doing so will attract listeners, but often overlook the evolving set of metrics that can tell us whether we’re really being listened to or not.
Being played on radio stations and featured on playlists is a larger indicator of success than almost anything else because it reflects meaningful engagement on behalf of music industry influencers that have a direct impact on what listeners are hearing.
Song Plays & Views
Move over, downloads. Song plays and YouTube views are some of the best metrics for gaging interest in music. Does that mean you need to keep daily tabs on your song’s stats? No, far from it.
Rather than obsessing over the day-to-day plays your music gets, you’ll get a better picture of what’s going on with your work by paying the most attention while releasing new work or touring.
Final Thoughts On Important Music Metrics
If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by the data surrounding your music, you’re not alone. We’re faced with the unprecedented challenge of knowing too much about how our music is resonating with audiences.
This means we all have to be smart about how we focus our energy on a daily basis.