Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Music streaming uncovers key data-driven consumer insights

As people use more mobile devices and apps, uncovering actionable insights in marketing is becoming a very difficult task. Marketers have a ton of data, but few companies have figured out how to effectively leverage that data to deliver targeted content at scale.

Data-driven insights offer a key to effectively engaging consumers. But how does one collect and analyze enough data to engage individuals in a scalable approach? Streaming data may be the answer, according to a recent article. And subscription streaming is becoming a key driver of the nearly $15-billion music industry, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a music lobby group, which recently released its annual Digital Music Report.



As more consumers use music streaming services, companies like Spotify and Pandora are mining those streams for user insights. Spotify—which expects to have 100 million users by the end of this year—knows how and when people listen to music. The company knows this by not only tracking the songs people are streaming, but through users who label their activities, according to Spotify Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Levick.

"People are soundtracking their lives and creating playlists with names like 'shower,'" Levick said during a presentation at the IAB's Mixx conference. "We have over 39,000 shower playlists on Spotify." By analyzing patterns related to shower playlists, Spotify uncovered numerous insights about its users.

In fact, Spotify learned that most (44 percent) of the users who create shower playlists are between ages 18 and 24, followed by 23 percent of users who are ages 25 to 34. Additionally, 68 percent of the shower playlists are created by men, compared to 32 percent of women.

Not to mention, music streaming services can help artists find their fans. For instance, when country music singer Hunter Hayes released a new single, 21, earlier this year, he used data from Spotify to plot his 21 tour stops. Hayes released 21 on streaming platforms before physical retail or digital stores. Based on that data, Spotify identified cities with the highest volume of users listening to the singer's songs compared to other locations. Hayes performed in places like Western Carolina University, Kent State University, West Point Eisenhower Hall Theater, and University of Oklahoma.
"That data—along with country radio airplay and single sales — is invaluable to identify where you have an active, passionate audience currently excited about an artist's music," Warner Music Nashville's Jeremy Holley told Mashable.

Spotify's competitor, Pandora, offers artists a similar feature through tools for analyzing fan engagement on its music streaming service. With Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), Pandora lets artists know which songs are performing well based on factors like the number of people listening to the song, the number of likes the song garners, as well as the general location of their fans. Real-time data from streamed music can also allow brands to target listeners beyond basic demographic information. Besides targeting listeners based on age or gender, brands can look at the days of the week and organize around what it is people are doing when they're doing it and target smarter.

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