At The New Rockstar Philosophy we’re big fans of Next Big Sound. Alex White and his team are building an essential tool for musicians who want to know more about their audience.
If used correctly, Next Big Sound can help you understand where, how, and when your fans are coming to your music. And that’s just the free service! With the fresh launch of Next Big Sound Premier, Next Big Sound is out to provide even more analytics for artists.
Recently we got a chance to chat with Alex about data, money, and how he’d use Next Big Sound.
How accurate is the data on Next Big Sound?
Very. Data accuracy and reliability are our highest priorities. We’re constantly tracking hundreds of thousands of bands across 15+ sites. The first thing most users do is compare our numbers to the ones being reported on their sites and we hear that we are more reliable than the numbers they are collecting by hand and sometimes our numbers are updated quicker than certain sites internal dashboards.
How does Next Big Sound make money?
We make money selling a subscription service called Next Big Sound Premier that provides context and recommendations around the basic data we collect. Every time we showed our graphs to people for the first time they would point to the highest peak in internet activity and ask us what happened. Premier pulls in blog mentions, news pieces, chart appearances, live performances and plots these activity and events on the graph so our customers can see what moves the needle.
What’s the best way for a musician to use Next Big Sound?
I would make sure all my URLs are correct so that every site I’m on is tracked and I could analyze which sites were the best places to connect with my fans. The free weekly email reports provide a quick, consistent way to be alerted if online activity has jumped or dropped more than normal. As I build my fanbase and popularity I would start inputting all my efforts into Premier (i.e. hanging flyers, buying facebook ads etc.) to see what actions are working and just as important, what’s not working. For instance, if I hired a publicist I’d set targets of increased traffic and placements and evaluate if those were hit or missed. I would use the map functionality to see where my fans are and what type of person they are.
One metric we like to look at is the ratio of views to plays. The lower the view count and higher the play count the more people are putting the songs on repeat and that generally is a great sign for future success as the song spreads.
Some interesting information straight from the collectors of the data. For me the awesome thing about Next Big Sound is the fact that you can test and see how your efforts are paying off. Then use that data wisely and plan your next move.
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