4 May 2018

Learning the Tool #5 - How do I scout for artists with an engaged audience?

This week we show you how Instrumental’s A&R scouting platform can help you discover artists with an engaged audience.

Utilising Spotify and social API data with applied AI processes, our A&R scouting platform unearths the fastest growing and most exciting new artists and tracks. The platform is currently in closed beta, but we are already powering global A&R teams from across the industry.

Learning the Tool #5 - How do I scout for artists with an engaged audience?

Our A&R music scouting platform is currently tracking over 180,000 artists and 830,000 tracks on Spotify. Whilst our platform is unearthing the artists enjoying dramatically fast growth in streams and playlist followers, our clients often want to know which of these artists have truly engaged audiences. This is why we have included the ‘direct followers’ filter [see image below].

While playlist following is a great indicator of streams and popularity, actively following an artist is indicative of genuine, ongoing interest in that artist. Therefore, our ‘direct follower’ filter offers a clear insight into direct engagement with an artist. This is because it takes a lot more effort for a user to click on an artist profile and click ‘follow’ than it does clicking ‘play’ on a track. Direct followers of an artist are genuinely interested in them!

We have used this metric in a number of ways to make it easier to analyse artist growth and engagement. On a topline level, you are able to use the filter to input a maximum and minimum direct following. When scouting for artists, applying a minimum and maximum direct following will remove the artists from your search who are either too small or too big.

You can also sort artists by their ‘7-day artist direct follower change’. By clicking on the header, the platform will rank artists in your search by the number of direct followers they have gained in that period. This is also available as a growth percentage in the next column, which compares their direct following this week with their ‘direct artist followers last week’.

In contrast to ‘playlist following’ and streams which illustrate the attention and streams an artist is getting, the ‘direct following’ metric offers a better insight into engagement. In terms of the range of growth to look out for, the maximum growth we tend to see in a seven day period is 4-5k.

The ‘direct follower’ is particularly useful for record labels, publishers and managers looking to sign artists with a highly engaged audience. It is also very useful for live promoters who are looking to book artists with a strong fan base.

HOT TIP: Direct following growth which indicates a 7-day follower increase of around 100+ or a 5% is worth investigating.

Last week, we shared how filters can help you scout for music based on mood on our A&R scouting platform. Check back here next week to read the sixth instalment of our Learning the Tool feature.

If you have any queries about Instrumental’s A&R scouting platform or want to find out how it can power your music scouting efforts, please get in touch via hello@weareinstrumental.com