Music Science

How Data and Digital Content Are Changing Music

Music Science

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Big data has come to the music business in a huge way. Nearly every aspect of the modern music industry relies on massive amounts of data, machine learning, and analytics to make better decisions faster. In this report, O’Reilly Strata + Hadoop World Chair Alistair Croll takes you on a tour of music science, a relatively new field staffed by data scientists, analytics experts, tastemakers, economists, and even game theorists.

Based on months of research and more than 70 interviews with scientists, founders, and artists, this report provides an overview of this multibillion-dollar venture. You’ll not only see where music science stands today—and where it’s headed—but get a tantalizing glimpse of what other industries will look like in coming years.

You’ll explore:

  • Connected listening: the new supply chain from artist to listener
  • The rise of metadata and the sheer volume of data associated with songs
  • Recommendations and Pandora’s Music Genome Project
  • Many ways to measure music consumption (and music consumers)
  • Music science’s Turing problems, such as the problem of predicting hit songs
  • How algorithms on listener preference need to learn quickly with fresh data
  • What lies on the horizon for the music industry

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Alistair Croll

Alistair Croll

Alistair is an entrepreneur with a background in web performance, analytics, cloud computing, and business strategy.

In 2001, he co-founded Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011) and has since helped launch Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, and several other early-stage companies. He works with startups on business acceleration, and advises a number of larger companies on innovation and technology.

A sought-after public speaker on data-driven innovation and the impact of technology on society, Alistair has founded and run a variety of conferences, including Cloud Connect, Bitnorth, and the International Startup Festival. He's the chair of O'Reilly's Strata + Hadoop World conference. He has written several books on technology and business, including the best-selling Lean Analytics.

Alistair tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at "Solve For Interesting".