Music Analytics – The data doesn’t lie

There was time when survey was the only form of market research we relied on when we wanted to know the behavior of the market. This time has long gone. Big data today doesn’t rely on the prospect’s assumption of what they want to see but what they really see. Indeed, past behavior can predict future preference.

The digital landscape and virtual connections to the fan has shifted the entire music business. Radio, as an intimate communication medium, is no doubt a money-making channel. The question is: How much each minute advertising on radio is worth? Arbitron (Music, formely American Research Bureau – Now Nielsen Audio) is a market research firm providing data and insights on physical & digital radio dial. With Arbitron, Nielsen now measures eight hours a day per person of dynamic media consumption. Based on the data, advertisers can decide on the effectiveness of their choice of advertising channel. In 2007, Arbitron introduced The Portable People Meter (PPM) to measure how many people are exposed or listening to individual radio stations and television stations, including cable television. The PPM was a pager-sized listening device worn on the belt of the test subject. It detected a specific tone—inaudible to humans—that uniquely identified each radio station. No more top-of-mind guessing games, no more weak-grounded prediction, the data says everything. It recognized if the test subject (called panelist) switch the station halfway, or walked into a store with the music broadcasting from a station. The music programming will adjust the metadata, edit audio, “ingest” music in to database to best target their audience.

Real time data: Game changer

Arbitron’s new 360 PPM collects data in real time regardless of a phone line to sync—leading to a constant feedback loop. The music programmer will adjust the metadata, edit audio, “ingest” music in to database to best target their audience. When in doubt, the data speaks. Based on the marketing data model, the radio station will be able to work toward an evolving solution.
The criteria of the song is classified as follow:
• Sound: defined by genre (Pop, Rock, Dance, Urban, etc.)
• Mood: defined on a 1-5 scale (1 is very sad, 5 is very happy)
• Energy: defined on a 1-5 scale (1 is very low, 5 is very high)
• Tempo: defined on a 1-5 scale (1 is very slow, 5 is very fast) or by BPM (beats per minute)
• Daypart: defined in a calendar that shows on which days & hours the song may be played

The audience’s span of attention has reduced from 20 mins to 10 mins (2013 to 2016). How is the music audio formatted to best keep the audience’s interest within such short duration? Here is the 10 minute listening test that your station needs to withstand:

Is it fascinating to see how our electronic devices (be it our car, home, smart phone, etc.) turn into a tracking tool. The treasure of data is astonishingly driving business decisions in all aspects.


Read more on:
– Music scheduling, where science meets art:
– Metrics and vocabulary of the PPM (Scroll till the end of the pdf to flip through the pages)


Or read here:

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