In the Future Listening Not Selling Counts

August 24, 2007

Saw this post today on digital audio insider:
Digital audio insider was using Last.fm statistics to quantify audience devotion to get perhaps an indicator of the future willingness of an act’s audience to buy its music or to go to live shows, etc.

They divided the number of plays for each artist by the total number of listeners to create a “plays-per-listener” ratio and then ranked the spreadsheet by that number.
Have a look at the numbers…. very interesting.

That brings me to the thought, that there has to be a change in the marketing focus for music soon.
It´s not about selling music anymore (after you have bought the CD the mission was completed), now it has to be more about liking music / listening music. If you use a subscription service or if you are a Last.fm user, the artists get paid for the usage of their music. So the labels can´t blind a user anymore with a short buzz or a big marketing campaign.

And here we are again in the discussion, who is the charts?
Music sales figures don’t tell you how much people actually like (and listen to) the music.
And digital audio insider makes a good point writing this:

“A few years back, you’d read stories about young bands getting attention from labels because of huge numbers of MySpace friends. I haven’t seen any such stories lately, probably because everyone quickly figured out how inflated those “friends” numbers could be. But given that Last.fm stats are harder to fake and inflate, it seems like a growing number of total listeners within Last.fm (and other music social sites) and increasing plays-per-listener ratios might be the best indicator of future success, and something of interest to labels and A&R folks… ”

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