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From Big Data to Big Break

With fans around the globe using digital technologies to consume music at an unprecedented rate, thousands upon thousands of emerging artists are now reliant upon music streaming as their main source of exposure. Companies such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and Amazon Music are opening pathways for musicians to reach their fans; however, the royalties from these services alone are not typically sufficient to support the musician’s career.

Despite the advances in music sharing technology, touring and playing live shows remain staples for these emerging artists.  So how do artists and their promoters align the reach of music streaming and online ticketing with fans’ physical locations to better plan, promote and manage live shows?

To answer this question, Vertical Trail consultants partnered with Gigable to create a music platform and app that would use curated playlists, geo-based concert discovery and online ticketing to close the gap between artists and their fans – all while building a formidable Big Data asset.

How Does it Work?

Gigable curators scour thousands of playlists and outlets to find the cream-of-the-crop emerging music. Via direct relationships, these artists partner with Gigable to start building “target” regions.

Listeners using the application can save their favorite songs and set reminders for upcoming shows.  This information is then shared with artists and promoters, who leverage those analytics to learn where their fan bases are concentrated. Over time, this geodata – along with “superfan” data (i.e., highest listener hours) – presents intelligent fan clustering data showing the full picture of where fans are located and their purchasing intent with respect to shows.

Vertical Trail consultants worked to build a strategy and design for a scalable analytics warehouse capable of handling an accelerated amount of streaming data.  This high-volume and rapidly generated data includes full / partial song plays, session duration, navigation and other factors contributing to the big picture of mobile analytics.

The application of back-end API calls – and other analytics tools and resources – resulted in a multi-dimensional dashboard providing a highly accurate picture of the listener lifecycle.

Innovative Technology

Vertical Trail provided a growth strategy that enabled comprehensive data collection as app usage accelerated, via the use of key technologies including:

  • Amazon Web Services cloud storage (S3) and compute (EC2), which allowed for lower cost of deployment and high elasticity of the solution
  • Apache Hadoop, which played a primary role in establishing a data lake capable of growing with the company
  • Hive, which enabled different types of source data to be collected and stored in a uniform manner for efficient analysis
  •, which enabled ad-hoc access to critical data points via simple chat commands, and sped up access to insights that would otherwise take full development cycles to produce

Mutual Benefits

The result of these efforts was the creation of an application with immense benefits for both fans and artists.

On the listener’s side, exposure to high-quality emerging music enhances their discovery experience, and their usage data assists in creating real-world opportunities to see their favorite artists live.

Synergistically, artists and promoters can now accelerate their career development and growth with access to targeted insights that would be otherwise lost in the shuffle of streaming data.

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