The world’s 20 most popular bands were shared 65 million times via Bit Torrent during 2013, new data reveals.
Musicmetric, the London and LA-based trend analytics company, recorded 64,530,078 Bit Torrent downloads of the 20 leading artists, including major label acts such as Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Daft Punk leading the pack.
With growing levels of internet connectivity boosting digital engagement with music, more and more fans have turned to social media to discover music.
American singers Taylor Swift, who dated One Direction’s Harry Styles and Russell Brand’s ex-wife Katy Perry both added more than 29 million fans during 2013 across social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Musicmetric, which was created by graduates from London’s Imperial College four years ago, is used by record labels and artists to identify trends and help target marketing campaigns. Just as tweets can be tracked geographically, Bit Torrent data can be tracked anonymously via ISPs enabling a map of fan activity to be created.
This can then be used to inform tour planning and marketing activity.
Data has also revealed that Beyoncé’s new album had been downloaded more than 240,000 times via Bit Torrent during its first week of release, despite not being trailed with any pre-release publicity or shared online ahead of release.
Similar major releases from Justin Timberlake last March totalled around 336,000 downloads one week after its release while One Direction’s last album record 153,000 downloads after a week on sale. These numbers include shares that occurred ahead of release.
Gregory Mead, CEO of Semetric, which owns Musicmetric, said:
“Following the closure of many local HMV stores and the dwindling number of independent record shops, you simply cannot by physical records locally any more. This, combined with faster internet connections and people’s changing social habits, means more and more people engage with music online.
“The music industry has continually been a test-bed for other industries in the way that it had led the way in developing streaming services, for example. The good news is that the likes of Spotify and Deezer are shown to reduce piracy. Of course we don’t condone piracy, but what is clear is that Bit Torrent data offers a granular insight into a band’s fan engagement. You can see where people live and if you know where your fans are, you can plan a tour and engage with them. Back in the day, people went into record shops to try records before they bought them – nowadays, they download or stream a track and then perhaps buy a download or a gig ticket.
“Beyoncé’s approach was interesting. The unequivocal differences between Beyoncé’s album and other major releases is the lack of any sharing before the official release date and the fact it was sold initially only in album form.
“Typically, a launch campaign for something like this would last months, with trailers, singles and interviews. The instant surge of interest has almost concentrated that into a couple of days. One of the cleverest things about this launch is the fact that fans have to purchase the entire album – not just a track. At a time where album sales are apparently falling, this is a positive thing, as many artists focus very much on creating a collection of songs often designed to be listened to as one complete set.
“The usefulness of Bit Torrent data is that it allows record labels to have an incredibly detailed insight into where their artists are popular – right down to the town. Although the file sharing numbers may be high, it will be possible to translate many of these into buyers.”
Credit all data to www.musicmetric.com
Table 1: Artists ranked by Bit Torrent download volumes during 2013 – Source: Musicmetric (http://www.musicmetric.com)
Table 2: Artists ranked by new social media fans added during 2013 – Source: Musicmetric (http://www.musicmetric.com)
Table 3: Artists ranked by plays on YouTube and Vevo during 2013 – Source: Musicmetric (http://www.musicmetric.com)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Table 4: Beyoncé’s Bit Torrent downloads per day of new album and back catalogue during first week of new album’s release – Source: Musicmetric (http://www.musicmetric.com)
Table 5: List of other major album releases showing equivalent Bit Torrent download volume one week after official release
Mumford & Sons – Babel – 21 September 2012
Total 7 days after official release: 86,614
One Direction – Take Me Home – 9 November 2012
Total 7 days after official release: 152,718
Taylor Swift – Red – released 22 October 2012
Total 7 days after official release: 269,764
Justin Timberlake – 20/20 (part one) – released 15 March
Total 7 days after official release: 335,633
Rihanna – Unapologetic – released 19 November 2012
Total 7 days after official release: 128,172
Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox, 7 December 2012
Total 7 days after official release: 174,806
As the world’s largest music data analytics firm, Musicmetric provides the entertainment industry with an insight into online consumer behaviour by aggregating, analyzing and compiling all related information available online about an artist.
Via their Musicmetric Pro dashboard, the company allows music industry officials to track social media activity, news coverage, online streaming and sales figures. Using this data, industry insiders can develop a coherent, comprehensive analysis of their artist’s performance and online profile.
They track and index data for over 800,000 artists and more than 10 million individual music releases. Thousands in the industry, including artists, managers, promoters, indie and major labels, use it to inform strategy and track online fan trends.
How it works?
Musicmetric Pro, their artist analytics dashboard compiles all information pertaining to an artist from websites mentioning the artist or release, to social networks frequented by music fans, to peer-to-peer networks used to trade music – even tracking wherever music fans leave a comment about the artist.
With their own proprietary distributed data collection infrastructure, Musicmetric collects vast amounts of data across the Internet. The raw data is then processed using Hadoop, which detects anomalies and aggregates data that is then made available via an API. For example, Hadoop analyses data to find total fans across various social networks for an artist and then uses this to create charts of social network popularity. Musicmetric’s range of products and services use this API, which has also been made available to customers and partners.
Uniquely, Musicmetric tracks file-sharing activity on the Bit Torrent network. Bit Torrent is a file-sharing network where users can obtain files by downloading that file from a number of other users at the same time. Musicmetric track individual Bit Torrent files by directly monitoring activity in Bit Torrent every hour. This allows the volume of activity on the network to be measured and segmented geographically at both the country and city levels. Activity surrounding individual torrents is aggregated at the release group and artist level to measure popularity and demand for artists over time.
* Musicmetric is the music analytics product from Semetric Ltd. Semetric Ltd was incorporated on 11/06/2008 and Semetric Inc was incorporated on 20/12/2012.
* Pentach Ventures has been involved with Semetric since 2011. Pentach Ventures invests in companies developing and marketing software for applications ranging from e-commerce, social gaming and mobile advertising to software protection and software verification.
* Musicmetric released its inaugural Digital Music Index (DMI) in September 2012. The DMI is their annual comprehensive analysis of the ever-changing digital music industry.
* In January 2013, Musicmetric announced a deal with Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, that will allow its users to benchmark Spotify data alongside social media trends and file-sharing information.
* In early 2013, Semetric secured £3 million investment from Imperial Innovations Group, the AIM listed technology investment firm, and existing investor Pentach Ventures. This follows previous investments totaling £1.7 million.
* In early 2013, the company made a number of senior hires and developed new features for the site. Jeremy Silver now helms the senior team in a new role as executive chairman alongside chief executive Gregory Mead. Jurgen Van Leeuwen is the new senior vice president for sales & global marketing, Alex Crickmay is the sales and business development director and Eli Shapiro, vice president of engineering.
* The US based team expanded in 2013 with the hire of Mark Tindle from Nielsen as the new senior vice president of sales and business development and Liz Camerelli from MusicMind as director of sales and business development on the east coast.
Digital Music Index
Musicmetric’s annual Digital Music Index (DMI) is the world’s most in-depth report on digital music trends. The inaugural report in 2012 provided comprehensive analysis of the state of the music industry. The aim of the DMI is to help the industry understand who and where fans are, which types of artists that fans are engaging with the most and how fans interact with music through multiple online consumption channels.
Through its comprehensive analysis of online music trends, the DMI provides an annual review of the online music industry and user habits. The DMI is central to helping the music industry understand its changing landscape and recognising opportunities to capitalise on consumer engagement.