Pandora just launched a Chartbeat for music
WRITTEN BY John McDuling
October 22, 2014
The race to redefine the meaning of a â€œhitâ€ song just got interesting.
Today, the internet radio company Pandora Media is turning on AMP, an artist management portal, which will give musicians, their managers and labels access to a trove of information about how music is being played on the service.
This includes the ability to track the performance of individual songs with a few differentÂ metrics.
Those metrics include theÂ number of spins and the number of â€œthumbs upsâ€â€”which signals that a user likes the track and makes it more likely to reappear in a future playlistâ€”as well as the number of people who have created stations based on the artist and demographic and geographic breakdowns.
As the screenshot here shows, the service looks and feels a bit like a Chartbeat for musicians on Pandora. (Chartbeat is aÂ measurement tool many online media publicationsâ€”including Quartzâ€”use to trackÂ web traffic.)
In theory, this information could be used for a variety of purposes, including helping an act Â decide which cities to visit on a tour, and which songs to play in a setlist and certain demographic niches where their tunes are resonating.
Pandora is the biggest audio streaming service in the US with 76 million active users at last count. But Â it also has had some high-profile detractors in the artist community (like Pink Floyd and Bette Midler). And its overall relationship with the music business establishment: labels, publishers and so forth, is an extremelyÂ tense one.
The company may be hoping AMP will help soothe these tensions. And since more than 80% of the artists on Pandora donâ€™t get played on traditional radio, according to the company, moves like this could enhance its credentials as a promotional partner for the industry rather than the adversary it is sometimes made out to be.
Spotify, which operates a slightly different business model to Pandora, but has also encountered stiff criticism from musicians over royalties, launched an artist analytics portalÂ of its own about a year ago.
â€œWe want to harness the power of our scale and data to make artistsâ€™ lives easier,â€ Pandora founder Tim Westergren said in a prepared statement.