The Science of Understanding Fans & Music Blogs

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How to navigate the vast sea of music blogs and market effectively?

The approach can easily become scattershot and misdirected, simply because of the shifting nuances of each blog (or site, community, or whatever).  And, then, everything changes.

That is a problem currently being approached by the Echo Nest, a group that first disclosed its ‘Fanalytics’ platform to Digital Music News last week.  Takers include the Orchard, Independent Label Group (WMG), Interscope, and RCA Music Group, a group now willing to apply some science to online marketing.

Whether the brainiac Echo Nest has the winning formula remains to be seen.  But there is plenty of deep thinking behind this concept, including semantic analysis that distinguishes sentiment and differentiates between different types of sites.  “We can tell the difference between a ringtone site, an i-banker mentioning a band, and Pitchfork,” Echo Nest president Jim Lucchese told Digital Music News during a more detailed demonstration on Monday.

A look at the platform shows why labels are willing to engage.  The Fanalytics interface shows a list of blogs, ranks their potency, and pulls out the most relevant bands being discussed.  Details on each blog are tracked, allowing the label to understand receptivity and impact.  “We wanted version one to solve a very specific business problem,” Lucchese continued.  “Is a blog promotion drawing value?”

The Cambrige, MA-based Echo Nest is supported by a mix of grants, venture capital funding, and angel investment.