Customization

The ability to extract data from streaming demand has enhanced the marketing ability of record labels and platforms, who can more effectively tailor their products to user demand. They have more instantaneous data with knowledge of when and where tracks are played and stored, whom they are shared with, and the quality and depth of user engagement. When a song is featured on streaming playlists, companies can actively promote that track on radio which can then spur demand for downloads to personal playlists. For example, OMI’s Cheerleader became a hit after Sony Music examined streaming data and subsequently promoted the track [59].

On the demand side, changes in search technologies allow consumers to find a wider variety of music, movies and books making the long tail more accessible. Recommendation or personalization engines enhance product discovery and produce long-tail sales distributions as niche products are revealed. Moreover, consumers can now view samples of book pages, listen to sample music tracks, and watch scenes from movies on multiple devices. The information channels have multiplied beyond radio publicity [62]).

While media platforms have the power to choose which artists and which content to promote over their channel, established artists have the power to choose over which channel, among multiple platforms, to distribute their music. They can sell albums on CD or via downloads or by streaming their new songs immediately. In the latter case they risk losing album sales, but they gain publicity. Artists like Adele, Beyonce and Taylor Swift “have accumulated a rare level of power in the industry, allowing them to take risks over how their music is released and consumed, and the rest of the business has taken notice” [60].4

 
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