Big data aids A&R rather than replaces, says MusicTank panel

Music TankBig data can help human A&R decisions rather than replace them, a panel at a MusicTank panel has said.

The comments were made at MusicTank’s latest seminar, Moneyballing Music: Big Data, Consumers and A&R.

Prithwijit Mukerji’s paper of the same name was the main topic of debate, a publication stating that data, whether that be Facebook likes or Spotify plays, should play an increasingly important role in the record label signing process of new acts.

However, the panel, featuring Korda Marshall from Infectious Music and Jeremy Silver, a digital expert, agreed that this information should only augment human decisions.

Korda said: ‘I am old school and make million pound decisions on whether or not music makes the hairs on my arms stand up. If we were just to make these based on data, then a good 50-75 percent of music’s greatest moments wouldn’t have occurred. Alt-j wouldn’t have existed if it was based purely on meta-data.’

Instead he suggested that the information was useful to sign post where the majority of A&R professionals would look for the next big thing.

‘Utilising the information in a process, ignoring it and going on my instinct is where I come from,’ he explained.

The Moneyballing report cited a study claiming that A&R is now an industry worth $4.5bn (£3bn), showing just how much can be at stake in this area when record label decisions are being made.

Visit the MusicTank website to read the full publication.

 

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