Music by Numbers - Statistics in the Music Industries

Music by Numbers - The Use and Abuse of Statistics in the Music Industries

I’ve receieved a hard-copy of a book I recently contributed a chapter to. It’s always a thrill to see your work in physical form!

My chapter looks at how large-scale data collection and algorithmic processing occurs around music consumption, and makes some recommendations as to how researchers might usefully undertake practice-based research in that area.

Music by Numbers - The Uses and Abuses of Statistics in the Music Industries is published by Intellect books. Here’s the blurb on the collection from their website

The music industries are fueled by statistics: sales targets, breakeven points, success ratios, royalty splits, website hits, ticket revenues, listener figures, piracy abuses, and big data. Statistics are of consequence. They influence the music that consumers get to hear, they determine the revenues of music makers, and they shape the policies of governments and legislators. Yet many of these statistics are generated by the music industries themselves, and their accuracy can be questioned. Music by Numbers sets out to explore this shadowy terrain. This edited collection provides the first in-depth examination of the use and abuse of statistics in the music industries. Written by noted music business scholars and practitioners in the field, the book addresses five key areas in which numbers are employed: sales and awards; music industry policy; live music; music piracy; and digital solutions. The authors address these subjects from a range of perspectives: some of them test the veracity of this data and explore its tactical use by music businesses; others help to generate these numbers by developing surveys and online projects and offering candid observations. The aim of this collection is to expose the culture and politics of data. Music industry statistics are pervasive, but despite this ubiquity they are underexplored. This book offers a corrective by providing new ways by which to learn music by numbers.

Dr Craig Hamilton
Dr Craig Hamilton

My research interests include popular music, digital humanities and online cultures.