Twitter is a vast repository of all sorts of data on trends and users, but that data isn’t always easy to delineate, even for Twitter. Now a new venture with former Warner Bros top exec Lyor Cohen’s new 300 label intends to take advantage of the social network to discover new music trends and artists bubbling under the radar.
Under a joint agreement announced at the recent MIDEM music business conference in Cannes France, 300 (who’s name was derived from the movie of the same name) now gets to organize Twitter’s music data, including some that’s not available to the public (like location tags that shows from where tweets were sent from). The company also plans to develop software around the information that might also be useful to musicians, record companies and publishing companies.
The venture is important for the Google backed 300 (Google is its largest investor), but it’s also important for Twitter, current victims of a weak earnings report, as well. Just the fact that it’s accumulated a treasure trove of data over its seven years of existence isn’t doing the company much good at moment, but having a partner make new use of it in one sector could give it ideas on how to repurpose other data for non-music industries as well.
If you haven’t noticed, Big Data is now big business, and there’s a general scramble in IT departments of social networks everywhere to monetize it. Since Twitter has a number of music stars with huge followings (7 out of the top 10 followings belong to music artists, with Katy Perry leading the pack at over 50 million), music seems to be a natural for data utilization. Mr. Cohen’s 300 label is hoping that it will give the new company an instant leg up over its far more established competitors, especially in the talent acquisition side of things as hot new and undiscovered artists are “mined” from the data.
This isn’t the first such venture for Twitter, as the company has licensed a number of certified data resellers in the past, giving them access to tweets going back to the company’s inception in 2006. And the company just announced a new pilot project called Twitter Data Grants, which allows research institutions free access to its public and historical data after submitting a proposal.
But it’s music that could very well be Twitter’s Big Data killer app. Now with 300 given unprecedented exclusive access to its private data for at least the next year, it will be interesting to see if and how the music business might change because of it.