10 Jul 2018

5 Tips for Finding Future Music Stars with Data

5 Tips for Finding Future Music Stars with Data

In this weekend’s Financial Times Magazine, Instrumental featured in an article titled ‘Music’s Moneyball Moment’, which explores a new opportunity available to labels, publishers, promoters and anyone else running a business in music - use data to find future music stars with the potential to drive business growth.

So how does it all work? Surprisingly, it’s not all spreadsheets and analytics, it requires a cultural shift within organisations and practical adjustments to the scouting processes.

Check out our 5 Tips for Finding Future Music Stars with Data:

1. Make scouting your priority

Scouting is often the bottom of the priority list for music businesses. It’s also often the worst paid job. Consider scouting as prospecting, it feeds your business pipeline.

It sounds obvious, but make scouting a priority, elevate its importance internally and incentivise your scouting team in line with their actual value to the business.

2. Rethink your team’s workflow

The FT article cites Seymour Stein, who when trying to sign Madonna, couldn’t get his boss at Warner Bros to sign off on a deal. Eventually, he had to go to another branch of the company to get it done. Every business is hectic and often time is not given to reviewing new prospects highlighted by the scouting team.

Scouting needs to sit at the heart of the organisation and that means devoting time to reviewing data-driven prospects every single week!

3. Find the data that matters most to your business

Which source of data best complements your A&R strategy? YouTube has been key to the growth of UK Grime, Soundcloud has driven hip-hop and Spotify playlists have accelerated the growth of Latin pop. Consider social media too, real audience engagement is best seen on Instagram.

Explore data and metrics that deliver the right artists for you. This will often differ to the way a rival will approach it. Hone and adapt your process to understand this data and remember that this is a forever strategy, not a short-term fad.

4. Park your prejudices

So many people judge new artists based on what’s happened before - park that thought now - “no one knows anything”!

We used our A&R scouting platform to unearth Calum Scott’s YouTube ‘bedroom cover’ of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own”. As Calum had been on a talent show, labels shied away from offering him a deal. However, the data said something else, so we put the single out ourselves - it’s now topped 250,000,000 streams on Spotify alone.

Data will highlight exciting and unexpected opportunities. Park your prejudices and let the power of the crowd show you the way.

5. Use a tool to cut through the noise

As you can see, using music data to find future stars is a real commitment.

So to give the above a chance of working, we have one last tip. Make use of a tool. We have built our own, so we are a little bias, but it’s not humanly possible to manually cut through the noise.

You need to use a tool that surfaces perfectly matched prospects every single day and helps you hit your targets. Our A&R scouting platform tracks over 425,000 artists and 4,900,000 tracks on Spotify, unearthing the artists who are enjoying dramatically fast growth.

So let’s talk! To find out how Instrumental could solve your music scouting challenges, get in touch via hello@weareinstrumental.com OR request a demo.