NEWS19 July 2012

EMI Music opens datasets to scientists for insight

Technology UK

UK— EMI Music is to open up parts of its “Million Interview” dataset to over 150 data scientists from Data Science London in oder to increase its understanding of how artists and their fans connect with the music industry.

The collaborative project will feature a series of community events, conferences and competitions to promote and build a community about music data science, starting with the Music Data Science Hackathon, a 24-hour global music competition taking place this weekend.

The data scientists will have partial access to datasets from the Million Interview series, which has been conducted by Lightspeed Research over two years in 25 countries. The research programme entailed a tactical and strategic ‘Artist and Music research’ tool to help EMI understand how to connect artists and their music with consumers. The full dataset contains data on interests, attitudes, behaviour, familiarity and appreciation of music as expressed by music fans.

The project will include a “hackathon” asking “Can you predict if a listener will love a new song?” It will require entrants to develop an algorithm to predict a listener’s level of appreciation for songs and artists, based on the listener’s demographics, word associations and the past interviews contained in the EMI Million Interview Dataset, which has been extracted through a partnership between EMC Greenplum’s Data Science Community platform and Data Science London.

The data scientists taking part in the hackathon will be competing for £6,500 in cash prizes sponsored by EMI and EMC. Kaggle, the crowdsourcing platform, will be hosting the competition on its collaborative real-time online platform for predictive modelling competitions. After the hackathon Kaggle will then make the EMI Million Interview Dataset available to its online community of 44,000 data scientists around the world. Adatis, a UK consultancy specialising in business intelligence and data management, will sponsor the data visualisation prize with £500.

David Boyle, SVP Insight for EMI Music, said: “EMI’s insight has profoundly increased our understanding of music consumers and the service we now provide for our artists. With the EMI Million Interview Dataset we hope to bring more new ways of thinking into our industry that will deliver enormous benefits to artists and their fans.”