The Effect of Social Media on the Numbers of Streams of Unsigned Artists’ Music

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Abstract: Social media has provided a way for music artists to reach many people with their music, without having to rely on record labels to perform marketing tasks. Most previous research within the area has focused on how already established music artists can use social media as part of their marketing strategies and how digital technologies have transformed the music industry. This study focuses on how unsigned music artists’ followers and fans on social media have an impact on their music streaming numbers. The main research question of the study is: how does unsigned artists’ social media performance affect the number of streams of their music? To investigate this, a robust regression model was defined with the aim of predicting the number of artists’ music streams based on their social media data. The robust regression model showed that the social media variables did not have significant effects on the number of streams. Therefore, an analysis of each individual artist in the data was conducted. The results showed that the social media data in this study could not be used to explain changes in the number of streams for unsigned music artists. An analysis based on each individual artist and the content that each individual artist is posting on the different social media channels, is suggested instead. An information visualization tool was developed with the purpose of allowing analysts to get an overview of the social media data as well as allow analysts to look at each artist’s social media feeds to understand how artists’ social media activities affect their music streaming data.

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