What if artists, record companies, producers, and publishers had the ability to read minds? Well, social listening and social intelligence technology have made it easier to discern and track what people are thinking and saying than any other time in history. Now that almost everyone posts almost everything on social media, review sites, forums, and blogs, those opinions can be analyzed and tracked. The ability to extract insights from social data is a practice that is being widely adopted by organizations across the world, and the music industry is ready for innovation in this important growing category.
According to Pew Research, ten years ago only 7% of the US population used one or more social networking sites. Now that figure has increased almost tenfold, to 65%. Of those who use the internet, a massive majority of 76% of American's use social media. As a result, tracking the pulse of these social media outlets enables companies to gain an incredible amount of valuable feedback and insight on how to improve and market products better. This monitoring can be done on several levels, from merely listening all the way up to the level of predicting.
Social media listening using sentiment analysis, also known as opinion mining, is the process of tracking what is being said online and determining if the context of the statements is positive, negative or neutral. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of an aggregate collection of these conversations provides a deep understanding of how consumers think, discuss, and feel about a brand, campaign, artist or virtually any topic. These metrics can range from simple measurements such as volume to more complex data-points like passion and purchase intent.
The next frontier is developing a predictive algorithm that helps brands and agencies figure out what consumers online will be talking about and on what platform before those conversations even happen. Relevant, personalized social engagement and social advocacy is more important to the music industry than ever – and that is where predictive social intelligence come in. By detecting patterns and associations in unstructured social media data, predictive analytics can provide vision into consumers’ attitudes and preferences—and can forecast how many trends are likely to perform in the future. Predictive analytics can also deliver data to help companies track the top influencers in each category and turn them into brand advocates.
The next music startup that masterfully cracks the code to help major labels, brands and artists leverage technologies to trawl through social media chatter to uncover upcoming trends and predict changing consumer tastes and desires is poised to become a hot commodity.