A recent study by Spotify has drawn on Musicmetric’s extensive music piracy data to analyse the effect of their streaming service on piracy levels in the Netherlands.
The report “Adventures in the Netherlands” discusses at length the reduced levels of piracy in territories where Spotify is available and also claims holdout strategies by artists (where releases are delayed on Spotify) actually harms sales and, in the case of major releases in 2012, led to higher rates of piracy.
Will Page, Spotify’s Director of Economics and author of the report, examines the falling piracy rates in the Netherlands and discussed ways this success could be replicated in places like Italy where piracy is more mainstream. He asserts that if Italy were to follow the example set by the Netherlands there would be 7m consumers shifting to legal alternatives of music consumption.
Page also considered the increasingly contentious issue of artist holdouts, analysing the effect of delayed album releases on piracy rates.
Looking specifically at a handful of chart topping pop acts, Page concluded that artists like One Direction and Robbie Williams, who released their albums on streaming platforms and for general sale simultaneously saw lower piracy rates compared to the higher rates suffered by Taylor Swift and Rihanna, who both released their album for sale ahead of releasing them on Spotify.
The report also looks at the effects of festival performances on an artist’s piracy levels, concluding that big ticket performances can lead to a bump in illegal downloads with no corresponding bump in sales. For example, when popular Dutch acts Gers Pardoel and Racoon performed at the Stoppelhaene Festival last year they saw a massive rise in piracy with little accompanying streams or sales.
Overall, it seems that, drawing from the Netherlands case, a combination of legal platforms like Spotify, clever marketing to capitalise on artist popularity and effective public policy could help to improve the climate for copyright online.
When Jay Z signed his deal with Samsung to pre-release his album on their mobile handsets, he may have inadvertently fallen into the windowing trap that so many music, film and TV producers have fallen into before.
For several days, the album was not available for purchase or on streaming services and during that time, the level of file-sharing escalated dramatically to a peak of over around 50k downloads a day over the July 4th weekend. As soon as the album became available on Spotify and other streaming services the bit-torrent activity declined. Nevertheless the album did peak at around 36k daily downloads during its first week of release.
The difference is noticeable when compared with previous file sharing activities such as a re-release of the classic 2000 album Dynasty which lifted daily downloads to around 14k from the average previously of below 10k a day. The spike was short lived and did not disrupt the overall daily average of around 10k downloads that he often generates.
Similarly when a re-mastered version of his 2007 album, Black American Gangster came out on January 1st this year in digital form, it had virtually no impact to the level of file-sharing. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Justin Timberlake single Suit & Tie featuring Jay-Z released in January over this year, did produce a stronger uplift in torrent behaviour, raising daily downloads to almost 15k.
But in the great scheme of things this level of file sharing is pretty small. By contrast in the same period from July 2nd – 8th, the video with Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake was viewed over 2.7m times on YouTube.
Now that the dust has well and truly settled on Glastonbury we’ve decided to take a closer look at what our Twitter Tracker revealed about the big headliners and the other acts on the line-up.
Our analysis shows Arctic Monkeys were the runaway winners in the battle between the headliners generating a peak average Twitter response of just under 200 tweets per minute (tpm), compared to 82tpm for The Rolling Stones and 53tpm for Mumford & Sons.
Ironically the top two most tweeted about acts were probably being talked about for all the wrong reasons.
Although not a major headliner, controversial rapper Tyler, the Creator gained the most Twitter mentions throughout the weekend.
His performance was certainly not the cause of this attention; generating a relatively lacklustre rate of only 73tpm compared to the 227tpm generated by his Twitter commentary on the BET Awards.
Most of his buzz is most likely down to controversy over his appearance at the festival, and a campaign to have him barred for his misogynistic lyrics.
Wiley also caused a media frenzy over his now infamous Twitter rant and subsequent pull-out from the Glastonbury line-up.
Nonetheless, most of the acts received significant boosts following their performances with the Arctic Monkeys and Example gaining the biggest performance-related spikes, of 198tpm and 164tpm respectively.
Other acts that also received significant Twitter buzz were Bastille, Professor Green, Jake Bugg and Rita Ora.
Azealia Banks and Iggy Azalea both made it into the top ten of our tracker but received relatively little boost from their performances – instead generating constant Twitter buzz over the entire festival period.
We at Musicmetric HQ have been busy beavering away at some exciting new features for the Musicmetric Pro dashboard to help improve the overall experience for our users.
New iTunes, Tunecore and Spotify capabilities allow users to integrate and compare sales and streaming data alongside patterns across BitTorrent and social media.
The Track & Video Plays section will offer a dynamic overview of an artist’s track performance helping users to draw better links between the tracks driving online fans and enabling music marketers to compare their campaigns against rivals or previous releases. Individual track by track analysis indicates an artist’s most popular track and also allows for a more granular understanding of what channels fans are engaging with.
We’ve also added Wikipedia data to the Pageviews section and simplified the process of connecting Facebook Insights and Google Analytics in order to provide a comprehensive overview of all online artist activity. Our enhanced Artist Overview page has also been given a cleaner interface with the added inclusion of the top played and top moving tracks for an artist.
Finally, with the launch of our new Report feature, users can now have a concise summary of all the key metrics in one place for more efficient comparison between the different social networks.
If you would like to test drive some of our great new features please sign up for a demo.
We’ve teamed up with The Guardian to track in real time, the online buzz generated for this year’s Glastonbury line up. The Twitter Tracker collects posts, @mentions and follows of all the artists playing at Glastonbury and compares the number of mentions to see who is gaining the most hype at the sold out festival.
The data is updated in real time to give the most accurate picture of the social media sphere at one of the biggest music events of the year. It will also show which artists generate the most tweets during and after their sets, so we’ll be delivering some analysis after the dust settles looking at who engaged fans the most or had the biggest reactions.
Interestingly, at the current time, The Rolling Stones and Mumford & Sons, the big head-liners of the festival, are lower in the rankings than the more social media savvy artists like Rita Ora and Azelia Banks.
If you’re at Glastonbury this year, be sure to tweet @Musicmetric using the #GlastoLineup hashtag to tell us which of your favourite acts should be topping our Twitter Tracker!
Make sure you check out our Virtual Glastonbury Line-up and Top Trending Glastonbury Tracks posts for more interesting analysis about the UK’s favourite festival.
As the music lovers descend on Glastonbury this week, we’ve decided to create our very own Musicmetric virtual line-up of the artists who should get top billing on the highly coveted Pyramid Stage based on their online popularity.
Taking top billing on our virtual line-up is of course The Rolling Stones who at over 17m social media fans have more than the two other big headliners (Mumford & Sons and Arctic Monkeys) combined.
With over 5m fans, New York rapper Nas would’ve been on the main stage instead of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds who at 1.8m fans have less than half that figure.
Interestingly, East London rapper Dizzee Rascal was one of top billed artist on the Pyramid Stage but failed to make it into the top 20 of our virtual lineup with less than 2m fans.
Alt-rock band Primal Scream and indie-rock band The Vaccines also received top billing on the stage but with both bands having just under a million fans each they only just scraped their way into the top 50 in our line-up chart.
Artists who failed to even make an appearance on our virtual line-up include Miles Kane, Django Django and dance duo of the moment Disclosure who didn’t make it onto our chart even after the success of their chart topping début album “Settle”.
Nonetheless, fans of the Smashing Pumpkins will be glad to know they aren’t alone, we would have given them top billing on our line-up given their 5.7m fans which comfortably would’ve placed them ahead of current Pyramid Stage acts Vampire Weekend and Professor Green.
Tweet us at @Musicmetric using the hashtag #GlastoLineup to tell us which of your favourite Glastonbury acts deserve top billing and who should be relegated to the smaller stages.
Make sure you check out our Top Trending Glastonbury Tracks post to see if your favourite songs made it into our chart.
With headliners including The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons set to delight music fans at this week’s Glastonbury, we decided to create a top ten chart of the tracks you can expect to hear at the festival based on the number of Vevo or YouTube plays they’ve received in the seven days leading up to the main event.
Despite being touted as the most hotly tipped headliners, The Rolling Stones and Mumford & Sons failed to see any of their tracks make it into our chart but Arctic Monkeys managed to fare much better.
The indie rock band have topped our chart with their hit “Do I Wanna Know” which received over 1.9m YouTube views in the last 7 days with dance quartet Rudimental not far behind with over 1.5m views for their number one hit “Waiting All Night,” featuring Ella Eyre.
Both The Lumineers and Bastille gained just under a million views for their tracks “Ho Hey” and “Pompeii” respectively. Australian rapper Iggy Azelia is 5th on our rankings with her racy hit “Work” which gained over 530,000 Vevo views pushing Icelandic newcomers Of Monsters and Men into the 6th spot with their track “Little Talks” that garnered a little over 500,000 views.
Interestingly, Irish singer/songwriter Sinead O’Connor has made an appearance in the list at the 7th spot with her classic take on the Prince-penned track “Nothing Compares 2 U” which earnt her over 390,000 Vevo views, placing her just above chart-topping duo Disclosure with their hit “Latch,” featuring Sam Smith.
Electronic duo AlunaGeorge came in 9th with their track “You Know You Like It” viewed over 320,000 times on Vevo followed closely by Major Lazer’s “Watch Out For This” with 319,000 YouTube views.
We’d love to hear which other tracks you’ll be singing along to at Glastonbury. Tweet us at @Musicmetric using the hashtag #GlastoLineup and let us know if any of your favourite artists make our ranking.
Make sure you check out our Virtual Glastonbury Lineup post to see which artists would have got top billing based on their online popularity.
The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) awards ran into controversy when the shortlist was announced. Scottish powerhouses, Emeli Sande and Calvin Harris were both left off the list despite huge levels of success.
However, our data has shown that the less ‘popular’ bands on the list may have more or less the same, sometimes even a greater, level of fan engagement – when judged on a relative basis.
Even taking into account the snubbing of Emeli Sande and Calvin Harris – who netted more than 230 million track plays on social media sites during 2012 – Scottish artists are experiencing really high levels of fan engagement on social media.
The debate around whether it was right to exclude these big name acts has highlighted the importance of being able to judge things in a relative context.
This is one of the key things we allow our users to do, by benchmarking one artist against another or against the Top 10 or Top 100, you can see if they have done better or worse than the ‘norm’.
For example, while a stadium tour for a major artist will clearly help drive a greater volume of fans than a club tour for an indie act, if a club tour drives a 10% increase in fans versus a 5% hike for the stadium act, then it has obviously been more effective.
According to Musicmetric, Calvin Harris, who broke records with the album ’18 Months’, gained 24,056,76 online fans in 2012 while his songs were played an astounding 152,854,671 times online. This is unsurprising given the record itself spawned the most top 10 hits off a single album ever!
Similarly, Aberdeenshire native Emeli Sande saw a huge boost across social networks and online play counts, gaining 13,982,48 new fans and 77,318,125 plays in 2012.
Of the Scottish nominees, the top three artists by pure fan volumes are Django Django, Admiral Fallow and The Twilight Sad, but when ordered by their ratio of fans to plays (showing the effectiveness of converting listeners into fans) this flips, with RM Hubbert, Karine Polwart and Lau as the top three performers.
When judged alongside other data – such as Spotify streaming information, iTunes statistics and sales revenue, all of which Musicmetric analyses side by side, it is possible to use these relationships to determine fan behaviour. For example, Calvin Harris clearly has many more fans than The Twilight Sad, but a greater proportion of The Twilight Sad’s online plays convert to fans.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Glasgow later today but as Musicmetric data has shown – in this case, all the nominees are winners in terms of online fan engagement!
Semetric and Musicmetric Chairman Jeremy Silver spoke at two high profile conferences this week about the latest trends in Big Data and the issue of music ownership.
His first talk was at The Economist’s Digital Horizons Conference in Stockholm, Sweden where he spoke about the pros and cons of Big Data as part of a wider discussion on how technology changes the way companies and consumers behave and the challenges and threats in our digital future.
His second was at the prestigious TED Houses of Parliament, where he spoke about the origins of indie rock anthem “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and discussed key themes about music, creativity and transparency in the industry.
Jeremy was in good company at the sold out conference with speakers including leading actor Colin Salmon and Baroness Patricia Scotland all in attendance at the highly anticipated event.
Our very own Mark Tindle spoke at the New Music Seminar in New York this week about how digital music trends can affect record sales.
He was presenting as part of the Music Trends Report segment of the conference and examined the importance of monitoring social networks and using them as online indicators of future sales.
He spoke about music piracy trends and the growth of piracy in Latin America, in particular Brazil and Argentina but he did note that download figures were falling in the US.
He also discussed streaming data and its impact on BitTorrent noting that in territories where streaming services such as Spotify were available downloaders tended to switch to those services.
Overall he concluded that streaming and BitTorrent data were strong indicators of both current and future purchasing behaviours. Streaming data and localised data in particular were useful in indicating sales compared to fan numbers.
If you want a copy of our digital music trends presentation please email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will contact you shortly.