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Moneyballing music: Record companies influenced by Music Business Management graduate’s thesis

Music 14 April 2015

The Independent has reported that the MA thesis of a Westminster Music Business Management MA (MBM MA) graduate is increasingly being acted upon by record companies in their search for lucrative new talent.

Prithwijit Mukerji’s paper, entitled Moneyballing Music: Using Big Data to Give Consumers What They Really Want and Enhance A&R Practices at Major Record Labels, was the first thesis submitted to the Future Thinking platform, an initiative by MusicTank, the University of Westminster’s pre-eminent music industry think tank and business information hub. Future Thinking profiles outstanding postgraduate music business talent, drawn from the University of Westminster’s world-leading MBM MA course.

The thesis from Prithwijit, who has joined Universal Music UK as a Marketing Assistant, provides an empirical study of the use of social media big data to better anticipate consumers’ tastes and better inform A&R processes and decision-making.

Prithwijit takes lessons learned from the US sports industry – the term denotes the use of smart data to improve performance – and innovatively applies them to the music industry. The paper addresses how the recorded music sector is currently collecting and using data to support a historically subjective and high-risk process of signing and developing new artists. It also considers how such data can be used to help minimise investment risk through deeper understanding of consumer demand and behaviour.

Prithwijit said that data “may not be able to predict the next Sex Pistols or Adele, but it can help A&R scouts and marketers notice trends earlier than others, giving them a commercial advantage over competitors. Music is yet to moneyball, but it is less a tipping point and more a continuous process.”

MusicTank has recently announced the publication of its latest influential white paper, Private Copying Of Music: A New Model For Artist Compensation, written by former MBM MA student Sam Rudy, arguing for an immediate EU-wide statutory introduction of an improved blank tape levy and proposing an evolution of the concept of private copying.

Future Thinking aims to foster knowledge transfer within a rapidly transforming business sector. It allows the University of Westminster’s postgraduate students to submit their theses, the best of which will be published and freely distributed via the MusicTank website.

About MA Music Business Management

University of Westminster’s Music Business Management MA is the first and longest running of its kind in the UK. As such, it is regarded by the music industry as a gold standard in music business education, preparing and delivering consistently high-level, next-generation music industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of creative industries, from mobile marketing through to the Arts Council. Many of our graduates are working in the music industry, with companies such as Universal Music Group, iTunes and Spotify. Our international students are working around the globe in music companies, including EMI Holland, PIAS European office, and MTV Brazil.

For further information please contact:

Sarah Evans-Toyne, Chiara Barreca or Arran Fano
Broadgate Mainland
T: +44(0) 20 7726 6111
E: westminster@broadgatemainland.com

Jenny Tyler
MusicTank
T: 020 8357 7317
E: jenny.tyler@musictank.co.uk


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

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