Your music data and analytics might sound like nothing more than music industry buzzwords.
However they’re actually powerful tools that are available to all artists who distribute their music to any major streaming platform.
While it’s easy and justifiable to get discouraged about low streaming payouts, one of the biggest benefits of music’s digitization is the power to know more about the people listening to your work. Today, we’re talking about 6 ways data can help you make better choices in your music career.
Your Music Data Shows You Where To Tour
One of the trickiest parts about starting to tour as an unestablished band is having no idea what cities to focus on and which ones to ignore. Radio campaigns are phenomenal for helping in this area because they provide detailed reports about which stations are playing your music.
They’re also hugely expensive and don’t really work for new bands who are just starting to put out music. The analytic tools platforms like Spotify and Apple Music offer to artists for free are the next best thing, and can actually provide valuable information radio campaigns can’t.
With data showing you where your largest groupings of fans are, you’ll be able to book tours with more confidence and purpose.
Tells You What Music Is Working and What’s Not Getting Listened To
This next point is obvious, but it’s important. Most streaming platforms let everyone see how an artist’s music is performing, but they also give musicians detailed information about how certain songs are trending and why.
With the ability to trace back a song’s momentum to a certain playlist or radio play, you’ll have a better idea of what to focus your promotional resources on in the future.
This doesn’t always apply due to things like the snowball effect in music where fans naturally gravitate towards certain songs because the stats show they’re popular, but being able to see a song’s momentum in real time can show you what’s resonating about your music and what isn’t.
Know What Platforms Your Audience Engages On The Most
Distributing your music puts your music in front of listeners over a variety of platforms. You’ll probably find that audiences naturally gravitate towards your work more on certain platforms than others.
This is powerful knowledge because rather than spreading promotion resources over multiple platforms, you can leverage and grow the largest and most energized segments of your audience where they’re listening to you the most.
In almost every scenario, data takes the guesswork out of the tough non-musical decisions you’ll make as an artist.
Determine What Merch To Buy and Sell
Many bands go hog wild on their first merch order in hopes of selling loads of stickers, shirts, and other items to fans only to get wildly disappointed shortly after.
Bands are similar to other businesses in the way that some of what they offer is a big hit with fans, while other items inevitably don’t sell.
Data helps you make better merch orders by showing you exactly what your fans are spending money on and what they’re passing by.
This helps you save money on refill orders and can inform you on what new stuff you should be investing in.
Tell You How To Market More Strategically
Rather than focusing your promotional efforts blindly on huge groups of people, analytical data from streaming and other mediums can tell you a great deal about who is listening to your music, such as age, gender, location, and what other artists they’re listening to.
This gives you the power to market to the most devoted segments of your audience with surgical precision instead of wasting time and money painting with a broad brush.
Allows You To Learn From Your Mistakes
As artists, we sometimes get hunches about what we’re doing well and what needs improvement. Data can’t tell you everything about the way your music resonates with audiences, but it can say a whole lot about what is and isn’t working in your career.
Data shouldn’t dictate the way you create music, but paying attention to it could give you the direction you need in not repeating bad decisions over and over again.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re completely focused on creating music and nothing else, talking about the importance of data is probably a boring topic.
However, unless you’re one of the few musicians who enjoys the sizeable resources of a big label, these are things you have to think about in 2019.
Taking the time to look at the data behind your music could mean the difference between finding real momentum and opportunities or not.