A recent Observer feature about how Radio 1 in the UK goes about setting its playlist has provoked lots of debate within the industry. Now the BBC station’s music boss George Ergatoudis has responded to one of the article’s main points: unease at the extent to which stats from services like SoundCloud, YouTube and Facebook were influencing the process. “Of course we look at data, but it’s only a small part of our decision making process and we have downgraded the value of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook considerably over the last two years. We’re back to a position where gut instinct and passion dominate our decision making,” Ergatoudis told Record of the Day. Here’s an interesting point, though: “I have to mention Shazam, which is the most reliable new data source of recent times. It’s a genuinely useful measure of audience passion and we trust the data at the top end of the chart as the user numbers are now in the multiple thousands. The correlation between success on the Shazam chart and our audience research is also very compelling, especially for rhythmic tracks.” No wonder independent labels were so bullish about the importance of Shazam at the recent AIM Music Connected conference.

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