This is our idea

Data is power, and big data creates injustice. Organizations that control large amounts of data, for example, the entire listening history of hundreds of millions of people in all major countries of the world, can train algorithms and robots that drive most of the music sales in the world. They can make your investment into a sound recording successful or doomed. They can circumvent or help a local content regulation, reinforce, or disable a national cultural policy goal. A country may introduce national artist quotas on radio, if all the youth will be personally recommended foreign songs in their music discovery age in the very same country.

We want big data to work for small venues, independent labels, startups, great and undiscovered artists. We believe that you cannot make a successful album launch, a market entry or introduce a successful cultural policy without large amounts of well processed and correctly analysed data. We want to create a Music Observatory that integrates the small data of many small bands, small labels, small venues, small countries, and mount correct the injustice. Make algorithms transparent and the competition fair.

In 2020 most of the data is proprietary to a few, U.S.-based companies, while most of the paying audience is the European Union. This year, many European governments started to challenge the competition conditions. The tide is turning, and we do not see this as an EU-US rivalry, because many players of the American music industry share all the pains of the European music industry.

Our Demo Music Observatory in September 2020 and got into the prestigious Yes!Delft AI Validation Lab. Our demo observatory is an example how we believe the European Data Observatory should be built — a project that should include all players of the music industry who are willing to share data and use it together.

A data observatory is a permanent observation point for social and economic data. We have reviewed about 45 functioning and 15 failed observatories to assess how a fragmented and conflict of interest fraught industry like music could build an affordable, useful and high quality Music Observatory.

We do not want to build a data observatory alone, and we do not want to own this concept. On the contrary — we want to be members of Consortium that can build an inclusive data observatory. We believe that the European Music Observatory should help ending the royalty gap between Northwestern and Southeastern Europe, should be inclusive, and equip the European music industry with large enough data to make the promise of closing the value gap a reality.

The European Music Observatory should be open for collaborations with representative international music organizations, representative national organizations, city-, regional- or provincial organizations, and business and scientific research organizations, and, because the music industry is largely made up from creative freelancer networks and microenterprises, even individual researchers (to a limited extent). We believe that it should be able to demonstrate direct value for individual artists, technicians and managers, too. We want to make this demonstration together with stakeholders from these segments.

Our company is supporting music industry players with royalty valuations, forecasting, damage assessment, alternative playlisting and other forms of 4 innovation. We have collected about 2000 music and creative industry indicators that we want to make available in a music observatory, preferably in the future European Music Observatory.

Pillars Of The Demo Observatory

The European Music Observatory will have three data pillars, and we are organizing our existing data assets in the same way for an easy transition.

Let us know if you need any data from these pillars and we will try to put it there in a correctly processed, tidy, well-documented format with a document identifier and citation template, and we will refresh it every day. Automatically. That is what we do: we automate research to make it error-free and timely.

1. pillar: Music Economy

2. pillar: Music Diversity & Circulation

3. pillar: Music, Society and Citizenship.

Let us know if you like this structure and let us know if anything is missing.

We will work with you to provide affordable data: Our partners can name their price for the first 50 indicators. We are not stingy data producers.

Our startup, Reprex, which grew out of a large, collaborative music observatory, CEEMID, that originally served data-poor Central and Eastern European countries, but quickly grew to a pan-European observatory. CEEMID is not public, because it never received public funding, and it suffers from the tragedy of commons: although it already contains 50-70% of what a European Music Observatory should be, it is not open for the public, because nobody would be willing to put private money into its existence. We would like to build up the European Music Observatory in a year by existing data assets in the live music, publishing and recording side of the industry, in music education, public policy, and other subdomains. Our research into 61 data observatories in Europe makes us confident that we know how to do it right see a few observatory examples in the Annex >>.) It is also an open call for music partners to join us.

Our project got into the AI Validation Lab of the worlds #2 ranked university-backed incubator, Yes!Delft. We would like to find a business case that allows the huge data assets of the music industry to come to the light and form a public data observatory. Let’s get in touch if you want to experiment with us!

Put Data Work For You, Not Against You

We want to support the European music industry and our friends in the Americas, Australia, and all over the world to turn the tables with 4 innovation coming from the open source community.

  • We want to help you to create alternative recommendation engines that actually recommend songs from your country, and we want to give you very clear export market targets with the help of AI. Our Listen Local Initiative is aiming to create recommendation engines for cities and regions, and make sure that local bands are recommended to local audiences and audiences in the regions where they will be touring after the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • We want your evidence to stand a fighting chance against large teams of professional legal and economics teams on the other side with proper valuations and damage claims. And we want to present all those hundreds and thousands of pages automatically, going through dozens and dozens of automated “unit-tests” until nobody can find errors.

  • We want you to be able to prove to your fans, the press, your economy minister that music in many countries has not been at the mercy of the taxpayer, but has been carrying far heavier tax burdens than manufacturers. We want to make your case that the music industry plays a vital role in the European economic recovery and job creation, because we can create economic impact assessments on GDP, employment, tax, import and export effects automatically.

  • Because music and culture are often managed at the level of cities, regions and communities, we want to give you all the data on sub-national levels, whether for regions, metropolitan areas or smaller divisions.

This is why we are launching now or Demo Music Observatory and its twin, the Creative and Cultural Sectors Demo Observatory. We believe that the tides are turning because both regulators and these industries have started to fight back, and there is an awful lot of value, money and creativity is at stake.

How This Should Work?

This is why we are launching now or Demo Music Observatory and soon its twin, the Creative and Cultural Sectors Demo Observatory, because video producers, book authors, magazine publishers, film distributors and public broadcasters are sharing the pains of the music industry. We believe that the tides are turning because both regulators and these industries have started to fight back, and there is an awful lot of value, money and creativity is at stake.

  • The European Music Observatory should fully exploit the EU’s open data regime. (See our examples: our first open data release))
  • It should be transparent, the indicator design should be based on open-source statistical software.
  • The European Music Observatory must embrace evidence-based open Policy Analysis
  • The observatory must allow a seamless data integration between open data, and highly confidential proprietary data.
  • The open collaboration principle must allow an easy opt-in and opt-out for small and larger, public and private organizations, and offer for full transparency for all users.
  • It should not re-collect data that already exists.

This is website is demonstration and proof of concept that a modern, European data observatory can be in large part automated, and adhere to the highest standards of statistical disclosure, reproducible research and open policy analysis (see 6.1 Evidence-based, Open Policy Analysis). Research automation not only increases timeliness and reduces costs, but leads to higher data quality, too, because computers are better in creating precise documentation or spotting errors.

see video

You can click to see our video or read a bit more about it in our blogpost.1

Credits: Video & related static images: Line Matson; music: Moon Moon Moon; retrospectively harmonized survey data: Marta Kołczyńska; COVID indicators: István Zsoldos; publication automation: Daniel Antal & Sándor Budai; written by Daniel Antal, edited by Andrés García Molina.

  • Parallel to this observatory, we are working on the experimental observatory on the entire creative, cultural and copyright-based industry sector. This will be a parallel observatory which will rely mainly on the same technology and program code as the They will be jointly developed as parts of our Creative Observatories programme. From a data science point of view, music is but one of the interesting cases that are part of the broader creative, cultural and copyright-based sectors (CCS).

  1. We are very grateful for Moon Moon Moon who explained to one of our hoped-for partner that making music industry websites is not easy. We got a lot of inspiration from their work and requested a soundtrack for our demonstration video about making an automated music industry website. We are certainly not there, but we hope to have a proof of concept.↩︎