Exclusive: Echo Nest Starts Unwrapping ‘Fanalytics’

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If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then try interpreting it all through a machine.

Impossible?  The Echo Nest is now attempting to help labels better identify and connect with their fans through web-based semantic analysis, according details shared with Digital Music News on Monday.  The new concept, called ‘Fanalytics,’ initially involves partners Interscope Records (UMG), Independent Label Group (WMG), RCA Music Group (Sony) and the Orchard.

So what is Fanalytics?  According to Echo Nest chief Jim Lucchese, the concept leverages patents related to the interpretation of music-related text.  “This relies more heavily on our web-crawling and language processing technologies,” Lucchese described.

If that sounds painfully difficult, then you have an idea of just what the Nest is trying to accomplish.  But big brains enjoy big challenges, and Fanalytics leverages technology developed over twelve years at MIT, Berkeley and Columbia by the company’s PhD co‐founders, Brian Whitman and Tristan Jehan.  “We are excited to apply our one‐of‐a‐kind music intelligence platform to help artists and labels better understand and build their online fan base,” Lucchese explained.

Outside of this release, others partners are also kicking the tires on the Echo Nest music intelligence platform.  At SanFran MusicTech last month, the company demonstrated a recommendation upgrade for Spotify, one that builds smart playlists on top of the rather straight-ahead Spotify app.  The recommendation-focused update remains forthcoming.

Back to the semantic concept, the real action begins when labels start to effectively structure fan relationships using the technology.  And, not just with one artist, but across larger rosters.  “We understand that simply making your music available on the web is easy,” Lucchese continued.  “The challenge is cutting through the noise to build a meaningful fan base.”

Report by publisher Paul Resnikoff.