MusicMetric has added a new programme to its roster, the Enterprise service, which is an expanded version of the Essentials and Professional services. MusicMetric is a new entrant into music metrics and offers a real-time trend-tracking package that organizes and analyses artists’ online presence and breaks down the online fanbase. Its unique point is it takes into consideration opinions to generate a score, instead of purely relying on plays and hits, as well as considering in-depth demographics.
First, the programme’s home page mentions the top 10 artists as well as the top movers which are useful, but it would especially good if there was expansion into genres and subgenres. Then to begin, there is a search for artists to track; the enterprise service offers up to 100 artists which would be extremely useful to a label looking for a general overview of how their roster is doing.
The dashboard presents comprehensible graphs of online presence based on ‘social network/online buzz’, ‘views and plays per hour’, ‘page views per hour’, and ‘fans added per hour’. Digging in, the online buzz is a measure of how many comments the artist is getting online per day as a cumulative ‘score’, averaging out the negative and positive ‘numbers’. Divided by day the ‘mentions’ area provides an extremely accurate representation of how trends affect the artist and the fans approval. It can also be useful to track changes in particular around tour dates or single/album releases.
Also included under the social network umbrella are MySpace page views and plays, and hourly tweet counts for the artist. This is great to see perhaps how those fluctuate when an artist decides to tweet or put up a new song. There is also comparison allowed between views and plays on MySpace which is useful for figuring out if the page itself should be revamped to attract more people to listen. There is also an in-depth demographic study, comparing total of fans across the different sites as well as options for gender, age and country breakdown of fans on MySpace (although with the rise of Facebook fan pages, a Facebook option should definitely be considered in the future). When it comes to fans added per hour it would be useful for testing online marketing campaigns but I had yet to find data on most artists from added followers on Twitter, or fans on Facebook or iLike.
Next is a BitTorrent downloading breakdown. Although unfortunate these are now necessary and I for one believe this is the most important feature. For higher profile artists there were graphs for individual releases which would give a very detailed timeline, as well as a map option to see where the artist had the most action in torrents. There are also options to separate stats by top cities and countries so the label can figure out what are the best areas for which bands (or scenes for that matter) and in fact it can be extremely useful for figuring out where certain artists should tour.
What I believe is the most useful feature is that all of the graphs allow for comparison. Within your roster, you can pick a group of artists that are in the same scene or genre and compare them. You can easily find the gaps comparing online buzz and in general it makes the task of forecasting trends a lot more straight-forward.
When it comes to the data, the graphs are very detailed and do a great job pointing out the specifics for the date you put you hover your cursor over. However, there should be an option to choose the parameters to make it easier for users to show how a certain marketing push or tour has been effective, for example by just having the chart be for the week (or month or whatever). It’s also confusing when some charts highlight the past week and then others for the same artist show the past few months (or few years). The changing parameters makes it a bit difficult to keep a handle on what time period you’re looking at. There also should be a bit more explanation surrounding the actual graphs. For instance, the ‘count’ for social network buzz is a number and there is no option that explains what exactly represents 1 count or 2 counts etc. It’s great that there are options to save, copy, print and export the charts to PDF, but if we can’t explain what exactly they stand for it’s not going to help.
I was impressed with the depth of the artist repertoire; I added a fair few obscure bands and there was a reasonable rate of return of information in terms of an online profile. However, for example there were a few artists that I knew had MySpace pages that MusicMetric didn’t have such information on, but when such a gap appears the site begins to track them and results appear within 24 hours. When the artist has everything in place (like Lady Gaga) the information is very concise and very useful, for instance organizing the total fans via MySpace, iLike, Twitter, last.fm and MySpace, it’s extremely useful to see which sites the fans visit most…however for smaller bands it would prove frustrating as most I researched only had MySpace numbers.
Music metrics are becoming vastly more important in the music industry as digitization has made the online environment the best way to reach and gauge fanbases. If done right metrics can deliver a better picture than ever before and can help a label with marketing and touring decisions as well as helping predict trends, and the Enterprise system is a good start.
MusicMetric is also known for its MuZoid Twitter application which creates detailed and informative web pages for artists via Twitter, which show up when a user sends a tweet with an artist’s name to twitter.com/muzoid. The application covers over 6 million artists and provides information on gigs, their discography as well as similar artists.