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What is Next Big Sound, and why does it matter?

At the end of 2013 Spotify announced a partnership with the analytics platform Next Big Sound to deliver Spotify listening data directly to artists for the first time! We asked Next Big Sound to tell us more about their platform, how Spotify fits into it, and how artists and their teams can benefit from the service…

 

Hello Spotify Artist Blog Readers,

Liv from Next Big Sound here. We are very excited to be teaming up with Spotify to deliver data directly to artists and managers, and want to share a few pointers on what we are, and how to use our service.

Next Big Sound’s mission is to make the world of data useful to artists, and to that end we gather social, sales and streaming data into one central platform. Sources range from Facebook and Twitter, where artists frequently interact with their fans, to Wikipedia and artist websites, where fans go to learn more about the artists, to Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes, where most music is consumed in this day and age.

We help you keep track of all your activity – both online and offline – and do that by pulling in event data such as concerts, release dates, television appearances and press mentions. You will also have access to the rich demographic data that will help you become more acquainted with your fan base.

For the first time ever, artists will be able to view their Spotify data, and in context with these other important sources of information. Here are some examples of how this can help you make smart decisions about your career!

 

Keeping tabs on releases

Did you just put out an awesome new single or album? View a time series graph of your data to see how a release is performing, both in terms of sales and streams. Simply search for your band name and click on the graphs section. Use the metrics drop down and date selector to choose the appropriate sources and time frame for your graph.

 

metrics dropdown

 SpotifyAndSales

 

Are those tweets working for you?

Find out whether your social strategies are working. Are your carefully composed tweets getting retweeted? Does your latest photo post on Facebook create any buzz?  And then there are campaigns. How about a ticket giveaway promotion on Facebook on Instagram, or a private session with Spotify? Pull in your social data from sources like Twitter and Facebook and compare them to your Spotify streams to figure out whether you are successfully engaging your fans online and encouraging them to tune in to your music.

 

 

What’s your best bet for a single release?

You can even use Next Big Sound to determine your next single. If you have just released an album, compare data on the track level to see which songs are getting the most traction. This is a great way to discover which songs you should promote as a single to keep your release momentum going.

 

 

What about appearances?

Have you recently rocked a tour, performed on late-night television, or appeared on a chart? Keep track of this through your events feed, and assess what online activity this event drove, by toggling through the different networks and sources. Compare this to other events to see what kind of promotional content was more or less successful, and tailor your content accordingly.

 

You can even benchmark these metrics against other groups of artists. These benchmarks are customizable, choose between top artists, similar artists, or create your own list of comparable artists. This allows you to see whether you are under- or over performing, and get tips and and inspiration from other successful strategies.

 

One Stop One Sheet

The overview page provides artists with a one-sheet – a simple snapshot of everything that is going on. Set your key metrics for instant and easy access to those sources that you are currently focused on, where you are launching campaigns, or where you have released your music. The small arrows will be green or red depending on whether your numbers are up or down relative to the previous time period.

 

NBS screen 

The metrics you choose are also what will be displayed in your artist email updates. These are delivered directly to your inbox at whatever frequency you require, daily, biweekly, weekly etc. so you can easily keep track of what is going on.

 

Who Are Your Fans?

Dig deeper into your demographic data. Simply choose Spotify connect in the “age & gender” and “top location” modals, to learn more about who is listening to your music and where. This can be useful in more ways than one. Is it time to tour in Europe? Are you looking to partner with a brand? Does their demographic match yours? That could be a great selling point in business negotiations.

 

Making Data Useful

Next Big Sound and Spotify are in the business of making data useful. Use this information as a tool to help understand and tell your story as an artist, get your music played on the radio, leverage in business negotiations with labels, publishers, brands and more.

We think data is valuable. Because we do, we also understand that private information from sources such as Facebook Insights, iTunes sales or Spotify plays, is exactly that – private, and will only be displayed for authorized users.

The shift in the music industry is undeniable. Over time, we have amassed more than 100 billion data points for our customers – each one representing an interaction between a fan and artist. Access to the information around how music is being shared and consumed in this market is invaluable, and this is what the team at Next Big Sound, along with great partners like Spotify, is bringing to you – the artist.

 

Get Started

To get started with Spotify and Next Big Sound, please check out this blog post:

Spotify & Next Big Sound Artist Analytics

We are happy that we are able to provide you with your Spotify data free of charge, as well as data from public sources including Facebook page likes, Twitter followers, YouTube video views and more. If you wish to connect and view certain private sources such as Facebook insights, Google analytics and YouTube analytics, as well as export your data, you will need to upgrade to a paid account. Follow the upgrade prompts to learn more about these features.  

 

Thanks for reading! 

Liv Buli 

Next Big Sound

 

Follow @SpotifyArtists on Twitter and sign up to the Artist Services Newsletter for regular updates on best practice, product updates, financial information and other useful information for artists and their teams.

 

  • alex forselius

    You said it was free, but the views shows on this blog is requiring a paid account. In addition to that, no municipality data was available for Spotify connect. This was a really waste of money.

    • Jordan

      All of the Spotify data within NBS is free for authorised users, but data from some other sources requires a subscription. Currently there is no municipality/city data for Spotify within NBS but there is a country breakdown. In the future we plan on adding more data types.

      • alex forselius

        The problem is that you show views that are only available in the pro version. When you say Spotify data is free, I believe all the views shown in the blog should be accessible for free.
        Or is this just a interactive advertising campaign for Next Big Sound? It would definitely be much better if you opened up analytics.spotify.com for artists instead! I’m not willing to pay $20 per month for something that Spotify says is free.

        • http://SpotifyArtists.com/ Mark Williamson

          Hey Alex,

          We’re not suggesting that everything in Next Big Sound is available for free. This blog is intended to show how Next Big Sound can be used and the context that they can provide as our analytics partner.

          We cannot control other data sources but do ensure that Spotify data is free. Of course it’s entirely up to you if you pay for the additional non-Spotify data. If you don’t though, you can still get access to Spotify data for free.

          It’s also important to understand that this is early days in providing analytics to artists, we’re listening to feedback and will be incorporating it in future developments to ensure we’re constantly improving access to data and the usefulness of our analytics.

          We appreciate the feedback and really do want to hear how people are using their data so we can continue to improve things!

          Cheers,

          Mark

  • David Barellis

    Agree with Alex, what a waste of time – none of the heavily marketed features here are actually free and as an artist I should be able to get my Spotify data free anyway, without this so called “partner”. It’s such a shame no one really cares about what is good for the artist anymore and it;s all about shameless plugs. Thanks Spotify – I actually thought you were a cut above.

    • http://SpotifyArtists.com/ Mark Williamson

      Hey David,

      We absolutely do care and that’s why we are investing heavily in features like ticketing, merchandise and analytics for artists, all of which are completely free. We also have an Artist Services team which is here to make sure artists’ interests and voices are heard and valued.

      Yes, some of Next Big Sound’s features are only available on their paid plans, they are a business and so need to charge for some of their services. But, the Spotify integration, and all of the Spotify data in Next Big Sound, is free to authorised artists.

      Finally, to re-iterate what I said to Alex, this is early stages for our direct to artist analytics. We wanted to get this into artists hands and we that means we will be adding more metrics and utility over time. And, we’re committed to keeping that free for artists.

      We do appreciate the feedback and are happy to be able to discuss your questions / concerns here.

      Cheers,

      Mark
      Director of Artist Services @ Spotify