Apple Music for Artists’ is a new dashboard designed to give artists analytical data that could determine which routes they take and what songs they perform.
A report on Billboard announced that the new Apple dashboard was launched in beta Monday to a “few thousand” artists and that it is likely to be released to all artists in Spring 2018. The “easily navigable” homepage presents artists with their overall performance data on Apple Music / iTunes. This includes the number of plays and spins, as well as how many songs or albums were purchased.
Although Apple may arrive fashionably late to the ‘for artist’ party, they certainly do not come empty-handed; the data they can provide ranging back to the launch of Apple Music in 2015 will allow indie artists to have a deeper look at their fanbase. Starting with 115 countries in which Apple Music/iTunes is available, artists can narrow down their searches to individual countries and even cities, whether it be for the number of plays or songs purchased. This could be a real game changer for musicians and bands in deciding where to go on tour. Additionally, the dashboard can focus on particular demographics to then know who is most likely to come to the concerts and what they listen to. Information such as this used to be hard to come by and mostly only available to major labels through extensive market research.
One of the artists chosen to try the dashboard is Canadian R&B singer Daniel Caesar, who told Billboard “As a truly independent artist with a small team, music analytics is something we can’t do without. We don’t have the luxury of deep major label market research to rely on to help us make important decisions like where to perform and how to advertise the things that we make. Apple’s analytics tool helps to level the playing field for artists like myself.”
Apple will not go unchallenged in this market as Spotify has been growing their own version of ‘for Artists’ (once called ‘Fan Insights’) since November 2015, while it has already accumulated 70 million subscribers (as of January 2018) in 61 countries, which is over double the number of Apple Music subscriptions, 30 million (as of September 2017).