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5 Important Lessons From Next Big Sound’s “Data To Date” Report

Posted by Glen Sears | August 19, 2015 2:34 pm | No Comments

Next Big Sound Music Industry Data
Next Big Sound, a digital music analytics firm recently acquired by Pandora, made headlines last week with the release of its report “Data To Date: The Rapid Rise of Social and Streaming.” This in-depth report examines how digital music is streamed and how it is shared.

The report, which analyzed over one trillion plays across 7 major services, put real data to many of the suspicions held about digital music. It’s growing rapidly, videos carry huge weight, and being a huge pop star all but ensures you continue to be a huge pop star.

While the report is easy-to-read and well-formatted, it is also long. We decided to pull what we feel are the most important parts of the report and compile them here.

You can read the entire Data To Date report here.

1. More digital music was streamed in the 1st half of 2015 than in all of 2014.

Anyone with a Spotify or Apple Music account knows just how prevalent streaming music has become. What’s surprising is the almost unbelievable speed at which it is growing. The 1,032,225,905,640 plays dwarfs 2014’s 434,695,663,626, with 4.5 months still left in the year.

Part of this play data can likely be attributed to the inclusion of Pandora’s venerable streaming radio service, but even so the numbers show just how fast digital music streaming is skyrocketing.

2. If you’re an artist building your brand, you need to use Instagram daily.

When considering social media for musicians, no platform showed the massive growth of Instagram. Monthly new follows for artists were up an astounding 455%, from 51m in June 2014 to 283m in May 2015.

Next Big Sound Instagram

Artists can use the platform to give listeners and fans a glimpse into their lives. Fetty Wap (known for his breakout hit “Trap Queen”), is a prime example of this phenomenon, adding 1.1m new followers since the beginning of 2015.

3. Latin artists are disproportionately popular on Facebook.

A strange anomaly in the NBS data, Latin artists provided a social media surprise. With most Latin artists making up around 2% of activity across social media channels, Facebook activity for the genre is more than double at 5%.

Additionally, of the 10 artists that attracted the highest number of page likes, 50% were in the Latin genre. Nicky Jam added more than 14m Likes in just six months.

4. Soundcloud is still a major player and growing — even with the controversy.

With recent news that Soundcloud struck a deal with Universal Music Group, its days as a copyright Wild West may be coming to an end. But that didn’t stop the streaming service from tallying an explosion in plays, growing from 2.5b in June 2014 to 4.9b in May 2015.

Next Big Sound Soundcloud

This would seem to suggest that hesitant rights owners like Sony may find themselves reluctantly striking Soundcloud deals in order to get their share of the action. These deals, however, could also cannibalize a user base accustomed to receiving the service for free.

5. Undiscovered artists are gaining notoriety not from their own videos, but from videos using their songs.

Liv Buli, the public report’s author, calls YouTube song-in-video detection “one of the more telling metrics” about fan engagement. In theory, using an artist’s track in your own content is considered “next-level” engagement.

To this end, undiscovered artists like Halsey are finding major success on the platform even without doing the work directly. Three of their songs breached the Top 10 list of unsigned artists whose music is being used widely on the network.

 

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