Canadian Musician - May-June 2022 - Page 45

PHOTO : BRAD ARDLEY
SOCAN ’ S ALEC MCGLAUGHLIN
At Culbertson noted , artists , labels and others are wary of playlist-driven data , because passive listening doesn ’ t create a fanbase who pays for merch and tickets . That said , Joven notes something that Chartmetric terms “ Playlist Journeys ,” which uses the data to analyse the relationship between playlists and how a song moves between them . “ That is something I think an indie artist could really use , because it ’ s a level of analysis that ’ s just not really possible unless you ’ re a data scientist yourself ,” says Joven .
In terms of how Chartmetric ’ s analytics tools are used to inform marketing , Joven adds : “ For a lot of the people on the marketing side of things – and not even just a digital marketing team at a label , but sometimes they ’ re the creative agencies that do the bands-andbrands thing – they ’ re super keyed in on demographics . And so , we have a pretty good body of demographics that are based out of Instagram followers , TikTok followers , or You- Tube subscribers , and based on age , gender , location , languages spoken , and what other brand affinities they have . That ’ s really their world . And so , for them to be able to cross reference that type of demographic information with emerging artists that they ’ re trying to place with a certain campaign they ’ re working with , I think that ’ s another use case , too .”
Ultimately , there ’ s no one number or metric that matters most and tells a complete story about growth or popularity ( essentially what WAR is in baseball analytics ). For example , Shazam data is a useful indicator about a song ’ s ability to pique curiosity , but you need to see if that ’ s leading to listens over on the streaming services .
“ Shazam is an incredibly valuable tool in our research toolkit , but should be thought as a secondary indicator ,” adds Culbertson . “ The primary indicator , and ultimate goal of promotion , is consumption following that exposure . Shazam is an indicator of that lean-forward curiosity , but true hit records pull you through that interface to add / download the song to your personal library . I also appreciate [ Shazam ’ s ] geographic and genre charts for context .”
That is a good example of why Chartmetric prioritizes seeing crossover and steady growth across the board . It ’ s that relationship between data sources that paints a fuller picture for decision makers of any kind .
“ The important thing , generally , is not necessarily one platform , one metric , but the relationship between those ,” adds Rosenborg . “ So , for example , are my Spotify followers growing at the same time that my Spotify monthly listeners are growing ? Because if only my monthly listeners are growing but my Spotify followers are staying stagnant , then I ’ m not converting actual fans . It ’ s just momentary passive listening because maybe I got on a huge playlist and then no one hears from me again ,” explains Rosenborg . “ So , the relationship between platforms is super important . What is the crossover that ’ s happening ? Is TikTok crossing over to Spotify eventually , or is it just remaining on TikTok ? If it remains on TikTok , it ’ s just going to dissipate really quickly . So , it ’ s all about the conversions that are happening in the relationship between various metrics and making sure that everything is growing — not necessarily in an exponential way , but in a healthy , steady way across the board . I think , in my opinion , that ’ s the most important thing .”
So , we ’ ve seen how labels , radio , and marketers across the music industry are reading and interrupting data to inform
CANADIAN MUSICIAN 45