Reasons to Start a Music Research Company
by Alex Cosper (2/15/2014)

Music research is an important key to running a label, an internet music station or a company that collects data for other music companies. One thing that would benefit indie artists is if they had more research firms to turn to that could test their music. Reviews are becoming not just essential for musicians, but they have taken on the form of informative consumer advertising. Consumers are more likely to trust reviews from fellow consumers than from advertising, which affects purchasing decisions. When it comes to indie music, the more reviews that you can connect with eyeballs, the better chance you have to build a following.

There's a big difference bewteen the research that provides feedback and research designed to influence sales. Music research should be used to empower people who want to know about how the market responds to certain music. It should not be designed to tell clients what they want to hear because that's just an investment in something that isn't real. There have been countless ways that professional music companies have tried to sway radio stations to play music based on hyped data. They've tried to inflate YouTube hits as well as create tons of fake fans on Twitter to create the illusion of popularity.

It's much more productive to grow an audience organically than to try to accelerate popularity through distortion and hype. A better reason to start a music research company than to artificially hype products is to give indie artists what they are looking for. They want feedback in the form of reviews that can be used to encourage new fans to buy their music. Even though a lot of popular music sells as a result of radio exposure, music reviews in widely read publications have long played into introducing new artists to the public as well.

Indie artists in 2014 need more outlets where they can expose their music and get instant feedback. One of the platforms that is pioneering feedback for artists is, which pays people to review up and coming music. Even though the pay is minimal, this business model is valuable for both indie artists and companies that want to help them. Artists pay to support the platform while researchers get paid to write reviews.

The ultimate music research company would be one that pays reviewers a decent salary instead of just pennies without trying to squeeze too much money out of artists. Ultimately, a music research site needs to attract a few thousand regular artists, which in the process builds a large following. In some ways this idea resembles the reality TV show model for finding new talent. The most important factor for a company to become hugely successful as a music research resouce is to maintain credibility by keeping reviews honest. An ideal platform would be an artist pays for X amount of reviews for a particular song, then is allowed to re-publish selected reviews for his or her website and marketing.

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