Monday 4 March 2013, 12:13 | By

Music 4.5 to throw spotlight on open data

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Music 4.5

The latest Music 4.5 event takes place in London tomorrow with the title ‘Open Data: Devaluing Or Driving Music Business Models?’

The afternoon event will consider the value of music companies making data available for free to third parties, who may then be able to use such data to develop new products and services from which everyone can benefit. But what are the pros and cons of such an approach, and if there is something to be gained from an open data philosophy, what sort of data should be shared and how?

Framing the debate, some of those speaking at the Music 4.5 event tomorrow gave CMU a heads up on their basic viewpoints regards the opportunities and challenges in the open data domain. Says William Lovegrove, founder and CEO of mobile solutions company ReleaseMobile: “Data is perceived as the life blood of so many businesses, but in some situations it’s preferable to think of data as water: a shared resource. Opening up data, and allowing others to drink from it, can solve business problems, create new opportunities and improve public relations. The art is knowing what to open, why you are opening it, and how to measure the positive impact”.

Concurring on the potential of open data in the music space, Songdrop co-founder and CEO Brittney Bean adds: “The industry is currently drowning in numbers; there’s information coming in from download stores, subscription streaming services, promotional streaming sites, video sites, traditional sales and social media. All of this information is meaningless without context, so there’s a real opportunity for start-ups to combine their own data sets with existing, freely available information and create useable, monetisable systems”.

But, of course, there is a commercial side to this debate for the original data gatherers too, as Helena Kosinski, International Marketing Manager of Nielsen Music International stressed: “The power of insights and the relevance of decisions are in some instances increased when multiple data sets are combined. From that standpoint, open data may facilitate innovative combinations of data, sometimes also providing data access where it had been previously inaccessible. However, as exciting as open data can be, there is a cost to quality data – either in the collection or in the interpretation – and somewhere in the value chain this financial element must be satisfied. Open Data still requires a business model”.

The Music 4.5 debate on Open Data takes place at the London offices of Lewis Silkin from 2pm tomorrow. Also speaking will be MusicBrainz Founder Robert Kaye, Last.fm Commercial Director Chris Wistow and CMU Insights Associate Sam Taylor. Info here.

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