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Spotify launches new artist data platform

By | Published on Wednesday 18 November 2015

Spotify Fan Insights

Spotify yesterday announced it was putting Fan Insights into beta, a new dashboard that aims to give artists and their management teams access to data about how their music is being consumed on the streaming platform, and also some help in processing and utilising that information.

The streaming firm has provided data tools to managers before as part of its Spotify Artists outreach programme, recognising that an artist’s management team doesn’t necessarily have access to the information labels receive about listening on the platform. But that stat-sharing was initially achieved via an alliance with Next Big Sound, the music data firm bought by rival Pandora back in May.

The new Fan Insights platform is an in-house solution, which has been developed with the input of managers who are data-hungry but, at the same time, have sometimes struggled to process the flood of data the growth of digital sales and content channels have provided. With desktop and mobile versions, the service is currently in beta – managers can request access – but will be rolled out properly in the coming months.

Announcing the new service, and dropping some new stats in the process, Spotify said: “With over 75 million users and 1.7 billion hours of listening each month – which adds up to 20 billion listening hours a year (and growing) – Spotify has the largest, most engaged audience in the world. This high level of fan engagement opens up a big opportunity for artists to understand their fans more deeply”.

It went on: “We’re constantly looking for ways to bring artists and fans closer together and we’ve worked closely with artists and their teams to understand the most useful insights we can provide. We’re excited to get additional feedback from more artists as we continue improving the product. Our ultimate goal is to help artists make more informed decisions about how to establish meaningful connections with their audience”.

Spotify was perhaps first among the streamers to recognise that – with some artists getting tetchy about streaming royalties – providing data to help inform each act’s live, marketing and direct-to-fan activity was one way of placating critics in the artist community.

Pandora has also increasingly been dabbling in this space, hence the Next Big Sound acquisition, and – with the US-based personalised radio firm possibly set to compete more head-on with Spotify, through global expansion and a move into on-demand – the two big streaming companies will likely seek to out-perform each other in the data delivery domain.

That will likely also mean bringing sales and marketing tools into the mix in a more full-on fashion, though streaming firms will be wary of damaging their user experience if they give artists – and labels for that matter – too much direct access to fans streaming their tunes.