5 tips music scouts should be following to utilise data

Written by frtyfve Team

With more unsigned artists than ever gaining traction on Spotify, it's a key resource for music scouts. With access to big data, engagement rates and a plethora of different metrics, it is crucial that music scouts and A&R teams are maximising the returns from the analysis of this information. Here are our 5 key tips for labels and A&R teams wanting to use data to cut through the noise:

1. FORGET PRECONCEPTIONS

Data will often draw surprising results. You may notice that an artist is performing incredibly, despite being blacklisted by a label for their genre or outlandish style. Too often, gossip, prejudice and traditional opinions get in the way of what is actually happening. Don’t let this mask the truth in the data.

2. LISTEN TO THE AUDIENCE

If an audience, however small, keeps engaging - viewing, sharing, commenting, liking - then that is the primary indicator that there is potential. Social media engagement is key to this, ensure this is considered in review of an artist. Reversely, don’t ignore the same signals in the opposite direction - too frequently, once everyone at a label decides a song is a hit, they turn a blind eye to the fact that organic engagement is not happening and start investing money to make it happen. Read the data and listen to what it is saying!

3. TAKE YOUR TIME

The growth process can be very slow, be patient. Tracks and artists can take months or years to develop a critical mass of engagement that indicates they are ready to reach for mainstream potential. Track and analyse performance data every week and act quickly when it reaches the tipping point. Make use of a tool to do this for you - we are powered by TalentAI - the platform utilises Spotify and social API data with applied AI processes to unearth the fastest growing unsigned artists and new tracks.

4. DON’T SPEND LOTS

It won’t make a difference until you start seeing growth waves that you can amplify. Paid social strategies and wider marketing techniques will benefit growth hugely, but not until the momentum has already been built through organic means. Save your cash!

5. TAKE LOTS OF SMALL BETS

This is key for us. There are over 30,000 tracks uploaded to Spotify daily, so make sure you are spreading your bets. Unfortunately, no one possesses the power to know which songs by which new artists are going to become smash hits - but make sure you are in the mix to find out. With so much talent and so many new releases available, there is enough out there for everyone to win. Look for the engagement, even at the smallest levels, pick up the rights, then test growth strategies across a range of releases. Use a tool to help you and keep at it because one song can be enough!

frtyfve is powered by Instrumental. Their leading A&R music scouting platform uses Spotify data and applied AI processes to unearth the fastest growing artists and tracks. To find out how the tool can help power your scouting efforts, click the banner below to request a demo.

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