Sifting through the Data with Neel Swamy

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Sifting through the Data with Neel Swamy

So I know that you are a MIS Major with a certificate in Music Business, how do you see those two subjects going together?

One thing that I see that the music industry lacks is having technical skills. So, people that can do these kind of things that an MIS major or Computer Science major would have the capability to do isn’t really present. As we see music moving more towards the streaming age, data is becoming more and more relevant especially on social media platforms. It’s all about data analytics for who to sign, who’s coming up, who’s hot. I just read an article that explained how the record label’s are changing their operations based off of data and are putting capital towards starting their own analytics teams. That is why I wanted to study both MIS and Music Business.

How do you think the Music Industry is doing with handling data?

They are doing alright. The thing that I’m seeing is that the jobs that are in those sectors are people that haven’t necessarily been working in the music industry. It’s more of people that are working in data analytics for a few years and get some experience under their belt and then go work in the music industry. So, the people that are doing data analytics don’t have a thorough understanding of the music industry. I don’t know how effectively they are doing their job or how much it hinders them doing their job. It’s still fairly new to the industry. Live Nation and TicketMaster were probably the first companies to have their own data analytics team and that was maybe 8-10 years ago so it’s still early to say.

What sector of the industry handles data the best?

Music Distributors and Digital Aggregators like Spotify. Spotify has completely changed how music is consumed and they changed how people find music and listen to music. Any way that music was listened to prior to Spotify has been flipped upside down.

What part of the industry do you think could improve?

Probably booking agencies. With booking, data becomes a pretty important thing. There is a lot of money in booking and promotions. They are really new to it so they don’t really know what they are looking for. Even the heads of departments aren’t necessarily technically experienced, that’s how the music industry is..it’s a lot of hard work and showing why you deserve to be in this spot. Data is just instances, I could look at the statistics of all basketball players in the NBA, anything can be data. So, I think booking agencies could probably get the most out of it and aren’t using it enough. They have years and years of tour revenue calculations where they can use that data to predict which cities can be profitable or find out what venues can make the most money.

Where do you see yourself doing data analytics in the music industry?

I’d like to work for a booking agency or a promotion company. Those two sectors have the biggest potential for my kind of expertise. Promotion companies and booking agencies are also bringing in a lot of money. Digital Aggregators are doing it the best, however, they aren’t making much money. The most money is in booking and promotions, so we take the data and say how can we increase revenue by 20%? So, we align the tours in this manor to reach our goal.

Advice for the kids?

Honestly, just do it! …Nike


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SPARKsouthSeptember 28, 2018
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