The word data is well-defined by Dr Saed Sayad of the University of Toronto with expertise in Artificial Intelligence, Data Mining, Software Engineering: “data is information typically the results of measurement (numerical) or counting (categorical). Similarly, Sumathi Sivanandam defines data mining as a “multidisciplinary field, drawing work from areas including database technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, statistics, pattern recognition, knowledge-based systems, knowledge acquisition, information retrieval, high-performance computing, and data visualisation.”
Basically, the objective of data mining is finding data patterns and extract useful information to gain critical insight from large volumes of data. The value of data mining application is very high in the organisations that are often faced with massive amounts of data to make decisions. This is also true in the music industry, which is currently overwhelmed with the enormous amount of information that can be extracted using data mining techniques. Analysing music data to identify patterns and turning such data into insights that drive actions is at the heart of user experience practice in the music industry. Data mining techniques when coupled with high-performance computing platforms can play a meaningful role in turning complex music datasets into actionable knowledge.
“Daily, people generate 2.5 exabytes of data, which is the equivalent to 250,000 times all of the books in the Library of Congress. Obviously, not all this data is useful to the music industry. But analytical software can utilise some of it to help the music industry understand the market.” – Brian Moon, Assistant Professor of Music, University of Arizona
However, the million-dollar question is: Who really owns the music data in the media and entertainment industries? Artists, musicians, performers, composers, producers, promoters, managers and even music recording companies face a new challenge over digital media threats. The fundamental question: Is there a better way? Legal experts hold the view that once the music content or production is released to the media platforms, it’s protected through legislation and regulation safeguards, but in other situations such as when the music content or production is available on open source platforms or free distribution channels such as on YouTube, or any other social media platforms, its data may not be protected.
To find a proper balance and become productive, the role players concerned should embrace the digital revolution driven by open source, cloud, big data and analytics that will give access to the music data – overcoming difficult challenges and opening new opportunities in the music industry. This will enable artists, musicians, composers, producers and even the recording companies to better navigate the media and entertainment industries more effectively and efficiently whilst becoming profitable.Therefore, this brings a new challenge – the 4th industrial revolution owing to the explosion of data and advancement of new technologies in the music industry. The founder and executive chairman of World Economic Forum (WEF), Klaus Schwab describes the term ‘4th industrial revolution’ as a “technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another”.
According to the Music Data Science, the EMI dataset promises to radically transform analysis and insight in the music industry, improving the understanding of how artists and their fans connect to the benefit of music lovers everywhere. This wealth of EMI music data creates an opportunity for an innovative approach to music research and insight. The Music Data Science hope to bring innovative ways of thinking into the industry that will deliver enormous benefits to artists and music fans. The EMI dataset is described as “the richest and largest music appreciation dataset ever; a massive, unique, rich, high-quality dataset that contains interests, attitudes, behaviours, familiarity, and appreciation of music as expressed by music fans around the world.” This initiative, according to the Music Data Science, will see a rich subset of data shared extensively to bring new insights from the music data based on the listener’s demographics, word associations, and the past data experience contained in the EMI datasets.
However, the question arises: Is it possible for artists in the music industry to continue to earn a decent living under the new digital system driven by open source, cloud, big data and analytics? The music world today is about analytics and it was not so surprising that in 2015 Spotify and Apple both acquired the music analytics firms such as The Echo Nest and Semetric respectively. The questions about the future of the music industry in the digital age are on the minds of many role players in the media and entertainment industries. Radical digital transformation is more about providing the endless possibilities for streaming and downloading music whilst empowering music fans with more control and convenience in terms of how, when and where they play their preferred music.
Similarly, there are concerns about new data-driven business models in the music industry. This is because not all artists or musicians have equal access to the state-of-the-arts digital media platforms to empower themselves with easy access to information. Some artists rely on the 3rd parties to benefits from the new revolutionary digital platforms to fulfil a greater promise in the digital music space. It’s no longer a secret that the digital revolution is opening unprecedented opportunities for musicians to disseminate their productions and for consumers to expand their musical prospects or preferences. The potential for commercial benefit is promising for the artists and musicians owing to the proper balance on how they are remunerated for their talent in the digital ecosystem. In addition, governments should put better policy frameworks, regulations and legislative standard frameworks in place to ensure the artists and musicians are protected against parasitic business practice emerging from the media and entertainment industries.
The raw data generated through the accumulation of free music downloads, apps and online music search engines is influencing not only what songs are marketed and sold, but which songs become the biggest hits for a season of the year. This includes the voted song of the year for a Television or Radio station, even the song to win an award in a sponsored event. Through the adoption of analytics platforms, it’s becoming much easier today to make an educated decision about how to market music to a specific community. This also includes making a prediction about, say for instance, which artists might be easier to market to a specific target community.
Artists have followers on social media talking about the music they preferred to listen or watch across different devices or displays of their choices. Streaming and downloading free music services are increasingly focused upon how social media channels are intertwined with the listening experience across different devices. This results for songwriters and music distributors gaining deeper insight in terms of know the fans listen to music and which sounds or music beats they seem to prefer during a course of the day, week, month or season in a year. Data has now become the most important asset in the music industry. The time has arrived for the artists and musicians to start embracing the digital media platforms to sustain their business in a long term.
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