Where and how you use apps and social media are starting to infiltrate the music industry even more than they already have. A few weeks ago, former Island Def Jam and Warner Music Group head Lyor Cohen’s new company, 300, announced that they’d partnered with Twitter to use their data to find out more about rising artists. And today, Warner Music Group stated that they’ve entered into a deal with music app Shazam to create a label imprint for artists discovered via the app. Essentially, the deal would let Warner use Shazam’s data to find out what music it’s users are discovering and where the songs are catching on to help find out what songs are catching on. Once those artists are signed to the imprint, Shazam can help market them. WMG COO/Corporate Rob Wiesenthal commented on the partnership in a press release:
By partnering with Shazam, a brand which is synonymous with music discovery for fans all around the world, we have forged a potent proposition: the first crowd-sourced, big data record label. While data and crowd-sourced analyses will never be a substitute for the expertise and instincts of our A&R professionals, we do believe the information we obtain for this new label will provide very useful signals that will bolster our ability to find the stars of tomorrow.
What implications does this have for heavy music? Probably not a ton, at least initially. Most people that listen to underground music find out about it from word of mouth or satellite/internet radio, not to mention blogs like this one, so whether it’s through an enthusiastic friend or a display on their radio, they probably know what the band playing is without having to use an app like Shazam. It could certainly help at college and commercial radio stations that play metal and don’t backsell or frontsell songs , or on podcasts where there’s a decent amount of music, but will likely be used more for mass appeal music like their most recent chart shows.