I’ve always been an avid radio listener. I love to listen to the radio in the car, at home, or wherever I am. I’m just the type of person who needs a little background noise. So when I discovered that I could get stations that were specialized for my likes via Pandora, I was elated.
Now, that was probably 10 years ago. I still use Pandora on occasion, but my best friend introduced me to something amazing called Grooveshark. Basically, I make a playlist, tell it to shuffle and play, and I get to do it without spending a penny. I even started using it before our youth meetings on Wednesday nights.
Grooveshark is awesome for listeners, but guess what? Now they’re doing some awesome things to help the recording studios and the artists as well. Yesterday, I read an article explaining that Grooveshark launched Beluga, a service that, in short, allows anyone to check out an extensive database about the people who are listening to specific artists, songs, and/or CD’s. Basically, they’re stepping into the data collection industry in order to benefit the artists on their site.
Are you like me and a little freaked out when people are snatching up your personal data? Beluga, apparently, mixes up and randomizes the data so thoroughly that everyone remains anonymous and nothing can be traced back to the original person. Still freaked out? It’s optional. Honestly, that’s the best way to do it. Make the fact that you’re using demographic information for something available for everyone to check out, and people are more likely to opt in and do so. Sounds like a good deal to me.
There’s a myriad of things that it collects. Obviously, gender, age range, and other basic information will be in there. But there’s also information about what the majority of people are listening to alongside the artist that you’re looking at initially. That, in my opinion, is cool. It allows researchers, artists, and whoever else cares to see some interesting trends that they may not have seen in any other context. They also give the geography, which can help you see trends in certain styles of music in various regions.
I think this is a pretty good example of a company in field that is normally all about the “little man” helping out people on both ends of the deal. A lot of streaming music companies are looking out for the listener, but Grooveshark is stepping it up a notch and making sure that artists are getting a piece of the pie as well. On top of that? Researchers will be able to get some information they may have never been able to get their mitts on before.
What do you think about Grooveshark doing this? Do you think it’s going to be well received by the listening community? Do you think it is going to be advantageous for artists and recording companies? What other relationships could be fostered by efforts like this? Leave your thoughts in the comments, have a great weekend, and we’ll see you here next Tuesday!
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