[Editor’s Note: We work with SoundOut to offer our artists insights and analytics with TuneCore Track Smarts reports. Check out this post from SoundOut’s CEO and Founder, which describes how music research with fans can complement your music creation and marketing efforts.]
David Courtier-Dutton is the CEO and Founder of SoundOut, the market leading research and audience insight tool for new music that guarantees accurate and objective insight into your music, 100% powered by real music fans.
Can musical integrity and research make music together?
There’s no reason why you can’t retain your artistic integrity, while also using music research to ensure you are targeting the right audience. Your music is a creative product and you want to spend as much time creating as possible – and as little time marketing to people who are not interested in it as possible. Research does not interfere with your creativity, it simply tells you where your market is and what kind of people will most likely appreciate and connect with your music. This enables you to consistently market to the right people who are predisposed to becoming your long-term fans.
Using research is simply a smart thing to do, yet historically good research cost thousands of dollars. However the power of SoundOut, the market-leading research company that works closely with all the major labels, CBS radio and many of the largest and most successful artists in the world, is now available to you via TuneCore Track Smarts reports at a cost effective price.
There are multiple ways that Track Smarts can help your career, and we’ve compiled a quick summary of the most powerful ones:
1. Know your market
You might be thinking “I already know this one,” but without testing and marketing your music extensively in every different market in the world, how do you really know? Do you have enough fans to test all markets thoroughly? You can identify your target demographic by ordering a Premium Track Smarts report, where you’ll get a full breakdown of how your track resonates with 16-24s and 25-34s, both overall and specifically in your genre. This should help you identify the listeners who will be most responsive and receptive.
2. Listen to your audience
Reading your reviews on YouTube might help you to a point, but generally those people aren’t there to be constructive and comments are often bland, meaningless or unhelpful. The reviews you receive in your Track Smarts reports will be of high quality written by a range of consumers. Some know a lot, some don’t know much, but they all have something in common; they are all music fans and represent the people who will be buying your music. You may not agree with a lot of what they say, but you will quickly get a feel for what they like and don’t like about your music. Listen to what they have to say, however brutal!
3. Market potential
We regard the overall market potential as being the most important feature of a Track Smarts report. Our market potential ratings are generated by comparing your track against tens of thousands of others we have tested before – this will give you an idea of how your tracks sit commercially. If you use the Premium Track Smarts report, you also receive ‘In Genre’ market potential ratings, which indicate how your track compares to thousands of others within your particular genre. On top of this, you can conduct comparative analysis across several tracks, to help you identify which songs you should be pushing as singles.
4. Song Element Analysis
Asking your friends and family their opinion on your music is helpful, but they may hesitate to be completely honest, particularly on those elements of your music that may need some work (unless you really are better than Adele!). The Song Element Analysis section of your Track Smarts report will give you a breakdown of the different components of your track and how positive/negative the reviewers were about each specific part. It could help you identify which elements of the tracks you can improve on, or put your mind at ease about something you are not 100% sure about.
In addition to all the fantastic data and feedback you receive on your tracks, there are also a number of opportunities you could be eligible for.
A strong Track Smarts report opens up a number of commercial doors for you. We provide research to major record labels and have high-level label and radio contacts in the US who trust the data they receive from SoundOut. It is no surprise that these labels love receiving information about up-and-coming artists, certified by SoundOut/Track Smarts scores. If one of your songs rates highly enough on SoundOut/Track Smarts, it is eligible to be evaluated for submission for radio play and/or be sent to senior record label execs at one of our partner labels.
Research improves your understanding of your art, helps you to be the best you can be and connects you with as many new fans as possible.
Your creativity and research can make great music together.