3 Apr 2018

Why Gut Still Matters More Than Data: a Response

In a guest column for Variety last week, Maverick Management partner Nick Jarjour shared his concerns for the loss of gut instinct decisions, in favour of metrics in the scouting process.

We cannot overlook raw talent and gut instinct. It’s a sacred thing that is important to nurture for our future generation of leaders,” he states.

While you might look at this and think that we at Instrumental would disagree with what Nick is saying, we actually totally agree. The data science we are employing to drive talent scouting and A&R in the music industry is not about replacing old skills, such as gut instinct - it is about maximising results.

A person can only listen to so many tracks and explore the potential of so many artists every day. What tech and data do is get you to the small number of prospects you absolutely need to listen to now.

That just can't be done manually anymore - 30,000 new recordings are uploaded to streaming platforms every day - and so audience reaction, playlist inclusion, and follower growth are reliable indicators of potential. Nothing more than that. What happens next is still down to the individual. The process still requires gut instinct - but it's funny that gut instinct delivers better when backed by insights.

The magic of the artist development journey and the value labels, managers, promoters, agents, publishers, lawyers and so on add hasn't changed. But great data science can match those people to the artists they need to know about in real time. We’ve rolled out our online music scouting platform TalentAI. The tool utilises Spotify and social API data with applied AI processes to unearth the fastest growing and most exciting new artists and tracks. To find out how TalentAI can help power your music scouting efforts, get in touch via hello@weareinstrumental.com.