Media & Entertainment

Big data in pop music

The next time you watch Lady Gaga on YouTube or tweet about One Direction, it’s likely someone will be using big-data analytics to process this information in an attempt to figure out what could be the next big chart hit.

Will Mills, VP music and content at Shazam, says: “There are a lot of data signals out there – from radio airplay data, SoundCloud plays, YouTube plays – and a lot of those are watched very closely and analysed. The data is cross-matched to see if there are any trends.

“Looking at the broader picture, it is something the record labels both big and small are taking more seriously.” He explains they are looking at what songs are working and whether they should be moving their marketing budgets around.

2013 Budweiser Made In America Fesitval – Day 2Shazam has partnerships with Warner Music, and also plans to work more closely with Sony and Universal to share its big-data findings with them.

“Our charts are watched pretty closely by radio programmers and record labels to see what tracks are trending out of the 30 million-plus songs on our database,” he says. “I think there is a lot more intelligence across the music business in terms of how people are working these data points.

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