The fine art of us­ing big data to pre­dict the next big thing

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS -

Reg­u­lar OTR read­ers will know that we’ve a fas­ci­na­tion with data round these parts. It’s some­thing we share with cer­tain quar­ters of the mu­sic in­dus­try – which view data man­age­ment and anal­y­sis as a smart way to gain an edge when it comes to mak­ing cash from chords.

One of the com­pa­nies you’ll find in this niche is Next Big Sound. The New York-based, Boul­der-born busi­ness tracks an act across so­cial net­works, stream­ing ser­vices and old-school me­dia and trans­lates such data into the hard, cold met­rics to al­low that artist’s team make the right next moves.

They’ve also worked with Bill­board to use this data to cre­ate a num­ber of weekly con­sumer charts. Per the lat­est chart, you can ex­pect the next big sound to be pro­vided by such acts as Jamestown Re­vival, Dune Rats and Raleigh Ritchie.

But it’s not just the mu­sic busi­ness that is get­ting hip to data and Next Big Sound. The com­pany re­cently an­nounced a part­ner­ship with book pub­lish­ers MacMil­lan on an an­a­lyt­ics tool called Next Big Book to crunch the data on an au­thor’s sales, so­cial ac­tiv­ity and me­dia reach. The hope is that this will give the pub­lish­ers a heads-up about which books on their list are about to have a mo­ment.

While the idea of a “Money­ball for books” might well be anath­ema to many in the books’ busi­ness, which re­tains a very old-fash­ioned ap­proach to com­merce, there’s no doubt such a tool could be very use­ful. Such an­a­lyt­ics, for ex­am­ple, might well have sig­nalled dur­ing 2013 that Ir­ish au­thors Donal Ryan and Eimear McBride were about to go vi­ral.

What­ever about the dif­fer­ences be­tween the mu­sic and book in­dus­tries, there’s no doubt that both share a need to do some­thing with the data sky­scrapers they’re build­ing other than just stare in awe at them.

Next big sound? Raleigh Ritchie

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.