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Why Musicians Need to Pay Attention to Big Data
December 11, 2015 Blog big data

This article was originally published by and can be viewed in full here

Data should not be a four-letter word for musicians, labels or fans. It’s a tool to be utilized: by bands for engaging with their audience; for labels to better target the bands in their stable; but also for fans to get better swag from artists they love.

Kiran Gandhi, a drummer for artists including M.I.A. and former data analyst with Interscope Records, and Liv Buli, the first data journalist for Next Big Sound and now Pandora, discussed the importance of data to the music industry and how neither artists nor labels should shy away from sharing their information. If a band knows which fans are the most dedicated listeners, it can reward their loyalty with interactions or personal experiences, for example, while labels can figure out where their bands have the biggest pockets of support and use that to book more successful tours.

Calling the conversation “near and dear to my heart,” Gandhi explained that she decided to obtain a business degree from Harvard after hearing the founder of Next Big Sound speak at a previous Future of Music Coalition conference. Her first job, at Interscope, was analyzing data from Spotify and YouTube for artists on that label.

Buli noted that the importance of having access to and understanding data has grown exponentially since her career started.