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The truth behind artist discovery in the streaming age

The truth behind artist discovery in the streaming age

A&R
4 Oct 2018
by Instrumental Team

Are you prepared to conquer artist discovery in the streaming age?

According to Nielsen’s 2018 Mid-Year Music Report, on-demand music streams have reached a new high, with 403 billion US video and audio streams recorded in the first half of 2018.

On-demand streaming now accounts for 75% of music consumption in the U.S. compared to physical and digital sales. Following a shift in the way that fans are consuming music, the way that bands are sharing has also changed. The barrier to entry has been reduced and bedroom artists are sharing their music to millions.

It is now more important than ever to understand how you can enhance your scouting process to sign the highest-potential talent. Check out our key tips below.

Cut through the noise

On a daily basis, 20,000 tracks are uploaded to Spotify alone and even more are uploaded to social networks - music scouts are swamped with potential prospects. It is impossible to listen to every single release, but if you don’t, you also risk missing out on a gem. We utilise data to deliver the right prospects for our clients.

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 not about short-term wins, it is about long-term strategy. See tip five for how we cut through the noise.

Park your prejudices and reap the rewards

So many people judge new artists based on what’s happened before - park that thought now. Artists will appear from unexpected places with tracks that you’d never expect to blow up.

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. Don’t let your prejudice put you off potential stars.

The basics are still crucial

Whilst it is easy to listen to more prospects than ever, the basics are still fundamental. Writing good tunes and smashing live shows is irreplaceable. An average of 4 writers contribute to a Top 10 Billboard hit - songwriting is more important than ever. Similarly, artists that can’t play live will struggle to connect with a long-term fanbase and build long-term credibility.

Gut instinct will guide you

You are a music scout for a reason.

The value added by A&Rs, managers, promoters, agents, publishers and lawyers is crucial to the artist development journey. Make sure you park your prejudices in the process but let your gut instinct guide you.

Data is more important than ever

When the biggest challenge is to cut through the noise, data is more important than ever.

Data is an incredible indicator of an artists trajectory and it is critical to use it, especially in the early scouting stages.

In a year-long, head-to-head with a team of 8 scouts, Instrumental’s data science team beat them to hot artists by 13 weeks on average (and sometimes by as much as 6 months).

You need to use a tool that helps you identify the highest-potential prospects, that match your scouting briefs. Our music scouting platform is tracking over 440,000 artists and 4,900,000 tracks, 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.

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