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Midem: Dashboard is in the place !

January 28, 2010

Midem just ended yesterday on a mixed tone. Traditional record business keeps diving while there are good signs that new-medias growth is strong enough to create a new music ecosystem.

It remains very strange though that the most viral type of content -music- still uses old-fashioned marketing techniques. As an

example, in many countries, it remains impossible to break an artist without using the radio or the music tv channels. As a result, the use of the internet is still very much of a “nice to have” rather that a “must have” for many artists, whom spend most of their energy and money to get some visibility from traditional media. And that is a fact that a very significant fraction of the music business still rely on the radio to make the system happens. If you are not in the radio-chart, you won’t have any corner in Virgin

stores, neither any interview on tv-channels, neither any chart recognition…. and nor any front-page visibility on Itunes.

The most sad part of the story is that there are some artists that can create some very significant traffic, but since that there are no tool to measure the overall audience, it doesn’t make any importance. Example: Black Kent, was unknown in June 2009: in Sept, his video cumulated 17000 views. But in dec. it was almost 7 millions times. Where is the catch? It is that JayZ had in the

meantime the video posted on his website. The thing is that no-one really noticed that the overall audience was that big ; you would need to navigate from platform to platform and sum-up all the different views from different standards, pages, sites… No-one is courageous enough to do that.

The good new is that dataviz is about to change that : Midem was an opportunity for some start-up geeks to demo their new p

roduct. I was privileged enough to see it working : a very nice dashboard that let artists have a clear chart-view on all what regards their traffic i.e. data-feeds from up to 40 different platforms, that can be filtered by song, artist-name, range of time, etc. In addition, the dashboard let artists have a view their real sales (Itunes delivering some data-streams real-time). What I felt was missing though, is what regards non-internet data for radio airplay, charts, overall radio traffic, advertising pressure, and so on.

Still, it is a strong sign that a time is about to end : when dashboards will clearly prove that a artist is on the verge of becoming famous on the Internet, managers, producers, large media websites and even traditional media will look things from a different angle.

The beauty is that dashboards may also help detecting specific trends : discovering that you country-music gets its audience from hard core bearded bikers websites may be disappointing, but it would certainly help to adapt your marketing and maybe music style, and eventually, take-off successfully.

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