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One Musician's Demand From Pandora: Mandatory Analytics 227

jfruh writes "Most Slashdotters have been following the debate among the various players in the music industry about how much money artists (and their labels) get from traditional music outlets like radio and newer services like Pandora or Spotify. But Zoë Keating, a professional cellist who has a professional interest in the outcome of this argument, thinks there's one thing missing from all the proposals: more data on who her audience is. Even digital services can't tell her how many people heard her songs or where they're most popular. 'How can I grow my business on this information?' she asks. 'How do I reach them? Do they know I'm performing nearby next month? How can I tell them I have a new album coming out?'" She proposes mandatory reporting of information on listeners as part of royalties.
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One Musician's Demand From Pandora: Mandatory Analytics

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  • Whose Data Is It? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sdoca ( 1225022 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:11AM (#42036985)
    The last line of the article is a quote from Zoe (emphasis mine):

    “I want my data and in 2012 I see absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t own it,” she wrote.

    Which begs the question in my mind, whose data is it? The stations' to whom listeners tune into and collect the data or the artists' whose music is played? I would argue its the stations as they're the ones collecting it.

    Another question is what is the data? I don't listen to any satellite or internet radio stations so I could be wrong, but I suspect that in the case of internet radio you can get the number of feeds and their location but that's about it. Is there any listener data that can be collected by satellite? How can that data be used to help artists market themselves better?
  • Re:I think not (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jafafa Hots ( 580169 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:21AM (#42037047) Homepage Journal

    Not necessarily.
    Think about YouTube analytics.

    I find out that certain videos are a hit with certain blogs, that's where my traffic comes from. So I make sure to give them more of what they want, PLUS I struck up a relationship of sorts with the blog owners which is mutually beneficial.

    I let them know when I have new content, which helps them. They give me a wider platform, info that helps me learn the subculture, etc.

    I am NOT a networker kind of person, I'm a "do every last thing yourself" kind of person, but analytics let you know when you're wasting your time, let you know where your "friends" and compatriots are, etc.

    For a musician, it could even help them know what cities they might try booking an appearance in, because they discover they have a fan base there.

  • Re:I think not (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:25AM (#42037061)

    it sounds like the worst sort of stalkery marketer who'll abuse the hell out of your personal information for a buck.

    Whoa there partner, back up. What this artist is asking for is entirely reasonable because this information is already available to the distributor. And offering additional information from the artist like when and where shows are happening is not only reasonable but the main method by which independent artists make their money! Radio was given free license to air music precisely because air time led to increased ticket sales, and they're very pro-active about announcing concerts that are coming up; It's typically part of the contract.

    This person isn't asking for the personal details of every listener, but rather information on when and where those listeners are -- something that would be needed to audit the distributor and ensure their contractual agreement is being upheld, and something that a court order would easily be granted for. And it's just good business anyway. There's nothing "stalkery" about this. Or would you prefer the artist take it on faith that the distributor isn't screwing them over? As I understand it, there's something of a commotion over contractual obligations of certain 4-letter acronym'd agencies that often talk about "artists' rights", though they afford none to those who sign contracts with them. Shouldn't we be wanting the industry to be moving away from this kind of vendor lock-in?

  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:29AM (#42037091) Homepage

    thow her the fuck out. With out exposure she'll have nothing, let her run her own website and gather those stats. The only things pandora should give out is the basic stats on how much the copyright owner should get paid past that they can PAY Pandora to get more stats.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:32AM (#42037115) Journal
    Oddly enough the first and only place I've heard of this artist is bandcamp [] and I think she's helped it grow. She seems to be demanding Pandora put in all the nice things that Bandcamp has.

    Bandcamp is not a radio streaming station but you can stream a lot of albums freely on it. Bandcamp [] seems to solve a lot of these problems with it's pricing clearly stated []. I don't use it as a musician but I make a lot of music purchases there and this is how things work. If you want to get an album for free, the band has the option of asking at least for your e-mail address and zip code. That way they can geographically target you or let you know they have a new album on Bandcamp. On top of that I think the sites has a huge stats dashboard for artists -- even including the referral URLs from which your listeners are landing on your page (so if you have it hooked up to your band's page, you can differentiate that from someone who found it via pitchfork or something).

    I've had really good experiences with bandcamp but their 'discover' methodologies still leave a lot to be desired [] and I hope that someday they just turn it into a station that has a great front end that will allow you to see and purchase whatever is playing.

    Of course, there's a lot of terrible music on bandcamp but I sort of enjoy the idea that it's open to all (as opposed to, say, Magnatune). There are famous artists that I already loved on Bandcamp [] and total nobodies I've come to adore [].

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