Two huge music industry announcements have highlighted the force behind machine learning and big data as tools for A&R.
It has been announced that leading online talent specialists Instrumental have raised £3m ($4.2m) to fuel “an aggressive growth plan”.
For years, the thought that an algorithm could become core to the A&R process has been laughed at. How could raw scouting talent be replaced by artificial intelligence? The truth is, it won’t be. This is not about displacing gut instinct and intuition, it is about maximising efficiency and results.
Our parent company’s flagship platform, TalentAI, monitors billions of data points each day from sources such as Spotify and other socials to deliver precise trend intelligence on emerging artists to the A&R and talent spotting teams in music labels, publishers, promoters and marketers.
TalentAI is already under license with labels from all three majors (Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music), and a wide range of indies – both in the UK, US and internationally.
With the funding, Instrumental will significantly increase their investment in machine learning for ‘faster identification of high potential, emerging artists’. The company will expand its sales and marketing capabilities in the U.K. and North America to drive customer acquisition.
In the same day, Warner Music Group (WMG) have announced the acquisition of A&R insight startup, Sodatone, who use streaming, social and touring data to spot unsigned talent. Both announcements illustrate the value of using big-data and machine-learning to scout for emerging talent. Sodatone will now operate under the Warner Music Group. Its founder will report to WMG’s chief data officer Vinnie Freda and will work alongside the WMG team.
The next stages in the development of data-driven A&R are particularly interesting. With Sodatone’s technology now exclusive under WMG, it will be interesting to see how major labels, indies and other music industry professionals respond to the move.