University project empowers musicians using advanced data analysis

Date posted: September 1, 2021
A man talks to two woman at a university

An 18-month Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Loughborough University and Sentric Music is delivering positive change within the music industry.

Award-winning, independent music publisher Sentric Music represents songwriters and copyright owners worldwide, ensuring that they receive their royalty payments.

Representing more than two million musical works, Sentric has substantial and complex data sets relating to revenues, social media and online fan base activity.

Analysing this information and understanding its impact on royalties would, the company realised, help it to manage and interpret traditional and non-traditional data sets, and enhance its reporting to artists.

Lacking the necessary data analysis skills in-house, the company embarked on a KTP with the University.

The KTP Associate, Dr Joe Watson – supported by Loughborough’s Dr Allan Watson – analysed millions of lines of complex publishing data from multiple sources in various formats from diverse performing rights organisations worldwide.

This enabled the publisher to develop its predictive analytical capabilities and generate data-driven insights from its existing datasets to improve communication with stakeholders.

The work now underpins the company’s advanced royalty calculator and RightsApp – providing a user-friendly, accessible platform for exploring royalty predictions and produces outputs that can be used in both day-to-day operations and long-term strategic decision making.

It has had an immediate and positive impact for Sentric – enhancing its client base and increasing sales. What’s more, RightsApp is available under licence to other publishing companies worldwide.

To support ongoing development and take the project’s innovations forward, Joe Watson is now employed as Sentric’s Data Scientist.

There have also been positive outcomes for the University. The academic lead and KTP Associate co-authored a novel evidence-based exploration of how artists’ social media activity affects their earnings.

Phil Rose, Sentric’s Director of Rights, says of the partnership:

The KTP exceeded our expectations. As well as achieving what we wanted, we also found a key member of our team who has continued to develop the work – further benefitting our operations and that of the wider music publishing industry.

Read more about the successful partnership on the KTP website.

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