Next Big Sound explores new benchmarking ideas for performers

Next Big Sound artist benchmarks

Next Big Sound released a new report offering insights on how to benchmark artist performance. The newly Pandora-owned data company examined ideas for analyzing musicians’ success online. The report tracks data from several social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vevo, and Instagram – and combined it with an assessment of Pandora plays.

By examining several artists, Next Big Sound showed just how much range a performer can have within a general degree of popularity. The report classifies artists under five different degrees of popularity: unknown, promising, established, mainstream, and epic. It highlighted FKA twigs, an on-the-rise solo artist, as reaching a good balance between social activity, press and media attention, and Pandora plays within the Established group. But on the opposite ends of the spectrum, performers in that same popularity bucket could be social media experts without getting the airplay support, whereas one-hit wonders might get lots of plays without the social media backing of a dedicated fan base.

It recommended that performers looking to understand and quantify their results compare themselves against the most ideal balance struck by an artist in their category. That way, there are no expectations of achieving Beyonce-level numbers while still working toward realistic growth.

Pandora has been rolling out more and more resources for artists and artist management. Turning Next Big Sound’s skills to performer data marks the latest such option. The online music company also has a proprietary analytics dashboard that launched in 2014 and has explored other features for letting artists use its platform as a place to reach fans.

Anna Washenko