Data

Next Big Sound opens up its Pandora data on artists


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Music-streaming service Pandora’s analytics division Next Big Sound is opening up its data, in an effort to give Pandora metrics a higher profile within the music industry.

Until now, artists, managers and labels could see metrics like spins, interactive plays, thumbs ups and station adds for their own artists and tracks, but not others. That’s now opening up.

“In an industry where stream counts are an important measure of an artist’s success, the inaccessibility of this data publicly has meant that Pandora’s important role in many artists’ career trajectories has gone unnoticed,” wrote Next Big Sound senior product manager Dan Wissinger in a blog post.

“Now, the Releases, Reach, and Engagement sections of the profile will show Pandora metrics like Radio Spins, Interactive Plays, Thumbs Up, and Station Adds for every artist on Pandora and each of their tracks.”

It’s true that when the industry (journalists included) look for stats to show artists’ popularity and growth, they turn to Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud as well as social networks – because those are the platforms with public metrics.

Opening up is a risk in one sense, because it allows comparisons with rival streaming services. It seems Pandora is confident that it won’t be embarrassed by those comparisons.

Wissinger cited the example of Atlanta rapper Lil Donald, who has two million monthly listeners on Pandora compared to 250,000 on Spotify (actually just over 214,000 at the time of writing).

Next Big Sound users will now be able to choose a selection of artists to follow, rather than just the ones they work with.

“By clicking the Follow button in the top left corner of an artist profile, you can get updates on that artist’s performance on Pandora in our Weekly Report. You’ll even receive Notifications when we identify notable spikes for that artist on Pandora and the other social sources connected,” explained the blog post.

The move will certainly give more prominence to Pandora when journalists are writing about artists’ streaming popularity, and should prove a useful tool for music marketers running data analysts on acts competing with their own.

Meanwhile, with satellite-radio firm SiriusXM in the process of acquiring Pandora, we’ll be interested to see what kind of stats from SIriusXM can be integrated into Next Big Sound in the future, if and when that deal goes through.

 

Stuart Dredge

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