Interview: We talk to the Viberate platform team about their analytics service

Viberate is a new analytics service that will put you one step ahead of the curve.
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Viberate is a new music analytics service that launched last month as a free beta, and the team have now announced details about its free and premium tiers, moving them to the next stage.

Their platform allows users access to an unprecedented level of statistical data, and offers unique insights into rising trends, allowing promoters, agents and managers to be one step ahead of the competition. 

We recently sat down with the Viberate team to learn more about their product and why it might be the most powerful platform to know about as we head into 2017. 

Please explain what the Viberate platform is and how people in the electronic music industry can use the metrics to their advantage.

Viberate is a platform that lets you analyze popularity of artists, record labels and venues. Right now it's probably the most reliable music analytics platform on the market. We get our data from all important social media, streaming sites, music stores and gig calendars and then we process that data and display it in a way music professionals can get a picture about the popularity of artists they are interested in. Right now we only display analytics for 37 thousand DJs, because we've just launched a couple of weeks ago, but soon we'll add venues and labels.

It's a great tool for promoters, looking for artists to book, or labels who want to get a hot producer to sign a track. Also, DJs can analyze their career in detail, see how gigs, tours and ad campaigns influence their popularity, they can use this to pitch themselves to promoters and much more.

Viberate seems like an incredibly ambitious project, how long did it take to get the platform operational?

We needed a bit more than a whole year to build the platform, but before that we had a website called Topdeejays, so we can say it took us about 5 years to get from the initial idea to the final product. Topdeejays offered very basic analytics, but visitors loved the service so much that we decided to upgrade it and make a business out of it. Still, we have a lot of work to do and it's a neverending process, because we'll keep coming up with ideas for new features.

Somewhere in 2017 you can expect probably the most interesting one - it will help DJs a lot with bookings, but let's keep it a secret for a while, OK?

How does Viberate accumulate all the metrics? How do you guarantee they are accurate?

We take data from third party services, like Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Youtube, Beatport and others. We can guarantee that data is taken from those sources accurately, but can't guarantee that the artist is maintaining those sources. Still, we encourage artists to regularly update their sources in order to keep our metrics as relevant as possible. We are aware that there are all kinds of cheating tricks available, but our data scientists made sure to minimise their effect.

What would be a good example of how someone might use this platform?

Let's say you're doing weekend techno events in your town. After a few nights you're slowly starting to run out of ideas about the lineup, so you go to Viberate, filter artists by genre and then look for someone who you can afford (yes, we also feature price ranges). You want artists who are trending and we can show you who is going up. We all know that the sweet spot is to get a DJ who's not yet very big, but is gaining momentum. So you can still afford to pay the fee and you know that he or she will sell tickets. The same goes for labels, especially smaller ones: they want an artist who hasn't been snatched by majors already, but is getting plays on Soundcloud and YouTube.

As an artist, you can brag around with your stats, use them to get gigs or simply monitor how different actions influence your career. It's always good to know what is effective and what is not.

Because we know that different people need different information, we divided our metrics into four main segments: LOVE where we analyze social media popularity, MUSIC where we analyze music popularity for producers, PARTY where we're looking at artist's gigs and RESPECT where we're looking into collabs and features and also how artists, labels and venues are following each other on social media.

What has the feedback been like so far and how much does it cost to use the platform?

We're very happy with the feedback. The launch panel at ADE was packed to the last seat, magazines and blogs really grabbed the topic and lately everyone is talking about analytics. Also, social media feedback has been great and we got lots of positive comments.

You can use basic features free of charge, but you have to pay a monthly subscription to get full-feature access. Subscriptions start at $15 per month, which is less than an average club ticket, so everyone can afford it.

Many DJs and managers might not like all this information floating around, how do you contend with that?

We only analyze data they put online by themselves, so they control the content, we're only showing how the content is performing. All the data we analyze is otherwise publicly accessible. But if they want to have even more control, they can claim their profile, provided they can verify themselves properly (we connect your Facebook profile with the artist's official Facebook page and if we get a match, we'll verify you). They can then edit the sources for claimed profiles and adjust the price range or remove it completely.

In a world where so many DJs fake their metrics to achieve success do you see Viberate being able to bring more transparency to the industry? Could this be the great equalizer?

That's definitely one of the advantages of using our data. Everyone knows how easy it is to buy fake followers on social media. But they won't get you anywhere on Viberate, because the size of social media audience represents only a fraction of our metrics. You still need an active audience, who engage with your content in order to get more Viberate points and therefore get better rankings. And then there are plays and views, which are harder to fake, plus we also look into which events an artist is playing at and how many tracks he or she has on music charts.

How does Viberate help users spot the DJs using fake profile building and arbitrage?

Believe it or not, we manually check each and every link that is used in the profiles. So if you add an artist now, it will first go through a verification process by our database curation team and they will make sure that only valid links are included into our metrics. So if you're some unknown guy from a small village in Russia and will try to add David Guetta's Facebook link to your profile, we will notice that and remove it. Strict verification process is also a reason that you'll have to wait a bit to see a newly added artist popping up in our charts. After verification is complete, we will still need a couple of days to get enough data for our measurements.

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