As vaccines for the corona virus slowly but surely start to roll out, artists and their teams are planning their “re-entry” into the world of touring. Part of this strategy includes building an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) that managers can distribute throughout the music industry as a way to explain who their clients are and why they matter to the “gate-keepers” of the biz.
One of the biggest trends that’s been developing during quarantine is this emphasis on data to drive marketing decisons. Chartmetric, Viberate, and Next Big Sound are just a few examplkes of platforms designed to shed light on how artists are performing across social and streaming platforms.
However, I have yet to see data analytics be used in a press-kit. So in this article, I’ll explain how incorporating data into an EPK can provide deeper insights on the relationship an artist has with thir fans.
But first, What Are EPKs
Electronic Press Kits (EPKs) essentially serve as a musician’s online portfolio or resume that are designed to help music industry professionals learn more about you and your music. Traditionally, EPKs include but are not limited to artist bios, links to music and music videos, press clippings, tour dates, social media, artwork, and contact information. The problem, however, is that this information doesn’t tell you anything about who’s listening your music; in an industry where creators and fans are THE most important components, you’re ignoring the half that actually generates revenue for the creators.
Who Are They Meant For?
The list of industry players below are just a few examples of who could benefit from these kits. Knowing their perspective and the questions they may ask will help you develop an effective strategy.
Music Promoters – How big is your fanbase and will those fans buy tickets to your show if I book you? There are lots of risks that promoters take on when booking a band at a venue. If not enough people buy tickets, they risk losing money on venue/artist fees and marketing costs. So if you’re an artist looking to get booked, you better make sure that you can deliver a substantial turnout.
Radio Programmers – How popular is your band abd who is your audience? In terrestial radio, a lot of revenue is dependant on advertising. The price per ad is positively correlated with the number of listeners. The more people who tune into the station, the more you can expect to pay as an advertiser. Audience demographic is also a factor; 25-54 is more valuable than other age groups. So it’s in the stations best interest to appeal to listeners who’ll yield the biggest ROI. Satellite radio shares the same concerns; however, instead of worrying about losing advertisers, they are worried about losing paying subscribers. Check out Kelly Maln’s article for more details on this subject.
Record Labels – The primary source of income for labels are royalties that musicians make from sales and streaming; whatever an artist makes from getting played on Spotify, the label will take a cut of the revenue. So when looking for unsigned artists to add to a label’s roster, it’s important to look at KPIs that reflect current listenership as well as their ability to grow and convert warm listeners to loyal fans. Fans are listeners who’ll keep coming back again and again.
Useful KPIs To Include
- Follower Net Gain Post-Release – This metric captures the number of followers that an artist acquires after the release of a new record/album. How effective is your new music at gain new fans? Is your release marketing yielding a positive ROI in terms of followers?
- Fan Conversion Ratio – FCR is calculated by dividing the numbers of followers by the number of listeners. In other words, how many listeners can you convert to fans by getting them to hit the follow/like button. This number can be a little tricky to interpret depending on what stage an artist is at in their career (established or emerging). Julie Knibbe, a fellow music-data professional and founder of Music-Tomorrow, does a superb job at breaking this metric down here.
- Geotargeting – Where do your listeners live? If you book a show in NYC but all your fans are in Delaware, that’s a long drive for them to see your show. It would probably be cheaper to book a show in Delaware and you’ll get a better turnout.
- Average Listener-Share Per User (ALPU) – This is probably one of my favorite KPI. Bas Grasmayer of Music X explains it best:
Before you get to revenue, you have to garner attention. What’s your attention share of your most dedicated fans? How do you stay top of mind and have fans checking in on you, so you can get your latest music, merch, or livestream tickets under the eyes and into their shopping carts?
Data analytics is still in its early stages at the helm of music marketing. The value in data for creators lies in the ability to understand who their audience is and how those listeners are experiencing their art. Aggregating the right type of data enables you to make smarter decisions about how you spend valuable resources (i.e. time and money). Including this type of information in your press kits, you’re garnering attention from key players in the industry that have the resources to extend your reach.
What Would This Look Like?
Using available data via Chartmetric, I created a mockup of what a data profile could look like for emerging indie rocker Bartees Strange. If you haven’t heard of him, Bartees is one of the latest musical guests to be featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. The slide deck, below, provides KPIs across multiple touchpoints (streaming/socials) that illustrate strong growth potential. Given access to more data points, one could go much deeper and offer more compelling KPIs such as ALPU and geotargeting.
Data Profile (Slide Show)
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