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Kobalt’s AWAL launches new mobile app to crunch streaming data

By | Published on Wednesday 29 March 2017


Kobalt’s AWAL service has launched a new mobile app to help artists, managers and labels who use the music rights firm’s distribution platform to access key streaming data on the move, and to better understand what all those stats and charts actually mean.

At launch the app will pull in data from Spotify and Apple Music, and present that in a variety of ways. Users will be able to see sources of streaming (eg from a playlist, personal library, album page etc), listener location and demographics, and information on what playlists have featured a track.

In addition to the charts, the app also includes a running total of what royalties are heading the artist’s way, plus what Kobalt is calling AWAL Insights, bullet point information that explains key trends and facts from the data in a simple way, to inform an artist’s priorities and marketing plan.

Launching the new app, Kobalt chief Willard Ahdritz said: “What’s true today is that the opportunity for independent artists to make a living off streaming is growing. We want to speed that up. The first step is helping independent artists de-mystify their streaming data. Today’s artists need to understand the signals that drive future success and be able to act quickly. The AWAL App puts the power of data into the hands of independent artists to help them build a sustainable career from streaming”.

Artists and managers, of course, can already access a stack of stats directly from Spotify via its Fan Insights platform, though the AWAL App will put that data right alongside Apple stats, with the aim to include other data sources down the line. In addition to providing Fan Insights-style information for other services, it will also enable artists, managers and labels to more easily see differences in how their music performs on different platforms.

Sometimes there are marked differences, according to the Kobalt team. The new app’s product manager Mark Newman told CMU: “Both Spotify and Apple Music are supporting independent artists, but the ways in which they choose to promote and curate new music differ, whether that’s Spotify using Fresh Finds and Apple using Beats 1 to get new independent music to their users”.

“As a result, some of our artists have seen different tracks break simultaneously on each service”, he continues. “The AWAL app allows artists to see how the services are promoting their music, the impact it has on their streaming performance and what that means for them in terms of the royalties they receive”.

Most digital distributors provide online tools to enable clients to more easily process the flood of data that comes out of the streaming services, though Kobalt reckons that having that information available in an easy way via mobile is key, especially for artists and managers. The firm already has apps on the music publishing and neighbouring rights side, and it says those tools informed the creation of the AWAL app.

“We learned a lot from Kobalt’s other apps”, Newman continues. “But primarily we learned how to present a massive amount of data in a way that’s digestible and usable by our clients. Not everyone is a trained analyst or used to looking at these large data sets, and so decisions made around design and UX can make a huge difference in how effective these products are to our clients. With the AWAL app, we’re proud of not only providing a wealth of streaming data, but how easy it is to use and navigate for independent artists”.

Having gone officially live yesterday after a period in beta, Kobalt says it will look to further hone its AWAL app as time goes on, enabling labels on its platform to share information with their artists, and expanding the data sets it crunches, even beyond digital.

Newman: “At launch, the app is primarily focused on steaming data but that’s just one revenue stream for an independent artist. Ultimately, we want the app to be capturing and presenting any set of data that will be helpful in supporting the careers of our artists. We’ll be talking to our client base regularly and listening to their feedback to make sure that we’re focusing our efforts on the areas that will have the most impact for them”.