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“Forcing someone to ‘like’ you on Facebook in order to get something pisses people off. Those ‘likes’ are not yours."
——Live Nation's Ethan Kaplan
NARM 2012: WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS MANAGED
On the Eve of the Big Confab, Our Man at NARM Mark Pearson Gets Schooled in Big Data
A packed room of attendees showed up at a pre-NARM presentation of data gathering entities hosted by digitalmusic.org.

Keynote speaker Ethan Kaplan of Live Nation Labs told the crowd that Big Data was the way to quantify risk, noting that data is our new asset base and a way to know your consumer. He wanted to look, for example, at how Facebook “likes,” re-tweets and a swoosh on iTunes would impact sales on a Best Buy exclusive. Kaplan contends that Big Data can sometimes create a bad consumer experience through misinterpretation of that data. Seeing that giving Best Buy a track that fans want but have to get by going to a store might drive sales at that one account, making the data look positive, but at the expense of the consumer experience of giving them no other option. “Don’t drive up the numbers by causing friction for the consumer,” he said, “Forcing someone to ‘like’ you on Facebook in order to get something pisses people off. Those ‘likes’ are not yours. They are Facebook’s ‘likes,’ and they are not permanent.”
 
NPD’s Russ Crupnick followed with a presentation on the evolving nature of how his company’s data gathering is collected and broken down. He stressed the fact that in his opinion we have been focusing too much on just the “buyer” and that it is no longer just about the buying experience but that touring, streaming and sometimes just re-discovering something in a consumer’s existing collection of music is just as important and the end game of selling the music.
 
David Bakula of Nielsen SoundScan was next up with some interesting takes on last year’s shutdown of LimeWire’s illegal file-sharing site. He wanted to look at the effect that it had on music sales. Even though users of LimeWire could still utilize their existing software to share music, a whopping 51% of those users stopped sharing files illegally altogether. The downside was that those users were typically people that used the site the least. He noted that 20% of users on the site accounted for more than 60% of the total illegal downloading taking place. So, although the shutdown of LimeWire in his estimation had little effect on sales, he believed that the reason that the 51% ceased to share files was the raised awareness brought about by the court injunction brought against the illegal site, and that was a positive impact.
 
Next Big Sound’s Colin Willis ended the presentations with what amounted to a straight ahead sales pitch for his company’s software that measured and monitors the music industry, turning data into “actionable intelligence.” They have a cool mousetrap, no doubt, and he used some compelling data on Universal Republic’s Gotye that he believes helped the record company get their artist booked on Saturday Night Live with enough lead time to hit the show while peaking at any number of other platforms.
 
Tuesday night is the traditional kickoff for the convention with the annual cocktail party. The opening session with an address by NARM President Jim Donio and keynote speaker Robb McDaniels, CEO of the newly minted INgrooves Fontana, goes down this morning.


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Protest songs that sound like now.
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