Over two years ago I wrote a post about some of the data mining we did at MP3.com and then Vivendi Universal that you can find here. To this day I find that entire exercise fascinating and one of the things that I enjoy the most is that the story only gets better with time.
Back in that post I referenced Rick Walker who worked with me trying to identify opportunities to sell data to the record labels back in 2003-2004. The previous post talks about some of the mechanical specifics but it doesn't really do a good job showing what he had developed.
Around the end of the year last year we needed to bring in a new finance person for our current company and coincidentally Rick became available. It's been great having him on the team and we like to talk about how cool that project was and how far ahead of it's time the data was. This is especially poignant as we have seen bands that were essentially baby bands at that time that have blow up in a big way. On the other hand there are also a bunch that became roadkill. This morning I uploaded a sample of the report that we were sharing with A&R folks before Vivendi divested the assets of the various music properties I oversaw. Here is a link to the National chart and some of the larger markets. You can find three other pages here, here, and here. Take a special note of the top band in Chicago in 2003.
Thanks to Rick for dropping this blast from the past on my desk this morning. I have been chewing on a post for a couple of weeks ever since I had a pint with a BBC producer in New York who spoke with me at length on the challenges they face in the future in terms of getting paid. I don't know that I have any answers to that question but I think the framework of my thinking to describe the key drivers and point to some potential ideas is almost complete. As there are a lot greater minds than mine thinking about that problem I don't expect to break any new ground but I think this past experience when colored with some of my current experiences will at least be worth sharing or start some discussions.