Vevo Analytics, Spotify Global Marketing Campaign and Google Takedown News, November 29, 2016

Analysts looked at Vevo’s analytics platform and how it has helped artists. Also, Spotify kicked off its biggest-ever marketing campaign. And a report indicated that Google was asked to remove a billion supposedly-infringing sites in the past 12 months.


3D render of vinyl record melting


Vevo Developing its Own Analytics Platform, Benefitting Artists


Music video streaming service Vevo began a reboot of its system earlier this year in order to break away from platforms like YouTube.


According to Venture Beat, this move has led to the development of its own analytics platform in order to improve apps and desktop experience and get more people to watch music videos within its own environment. Vevo also added new features like personalization and profiles.


Data expert Miguel Alvarado was hired in the midst of the overhaul in order to manage data as vice president of data and analytics. Because the company had no in-house analytics, he built the analytics platform and the team managing it as if it was a startup.


He explained, “I saw a lot of opportunity to start from scratch in the world of analytics … You can do that at a startup, but it’s not proven and probably doesn’t have any real customers. Vevo has customers around the world, and we can learn from them.”


Vevo was originally founded as a partnership between major record labels. Its rapid rise was due largely to the success of its YouTube channel. However, in 2015, the company decided to focus on developing its own platforms and apps.


When Alvarado came to the company, Vevo was still using third-party analytics solutions, which were making it difficult for people across the organization to access analytics in order to adapt them to suit the platform and use them to help artists and others using the platform.


Alvarado said, “I really think that anybody who is very, very serious about data, and using it up to the levels we’re using it, I think they need their own platform because you have unlimited flexibility.”


The system Alvarado and his team built gathers and dissects huge amounts of information that is used in product development, an essential function to the company’s constant rollout of new interfaces and services in 2016. This same system is responsible for Vevo’s new personalization and recommendation features that help artists more efficiently market their music and find fans.


Vevo integrated with Amazon Web Services, which include a range of services for storing data and mining through it to find meaning.


Vevo released a white paper last week discussing the architecture of its analytics, the philosophy behind it and how the data helps the company deliver better services to users and artists.


The paper indicated, “Vevo’s new user-centric, data-driven approach is already paying dividends … It’s led to more efficient and less reactive philosophy that allows us to harness and direct resources where they’ll be most efficient. Gathering more data and combining it in an in-house data warehouse clarified relationships, reducing the need to lean on uncertain hypotheses to explain new trends or usage patterns.”


Alvarado revealed that a lot of companies like Netflix, which he looks to as a leader have openly discussed their infrastructure. He wants Vevo to operate on this level in order to build a reputation for leadership and innovation and attract the best talent to the platform.


He added, “I think there are a lot more companies that are sharing what they are doing internally with their infrastructure … I think some of us in the industry have realized that by sharing we can all move faster. You don’t have to repeat things, because someone has already found a solution. At the end of the day, it’s your product that’s going to determine whether you succeed.”


About a year ago, at the start of its transformation, Vevo announced that Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” was the platform’s most-viewed video of the year. Now, Billboard pointed out that Vevo is continuing its transformation by reaching out to independent artists and major label artists alike. The release of its “Ones to Watch” picks for 2017 today will hopefully start a move away from a storage facility towards forgettable artists, towards a platform that will help develop emerging artists in order to take over where MTV left off.


Spotify Launching a Giant Worldwide Marketing Campaign


Spotify recently launched its largest global marketing campaign to date in 14 territories.


Music Business Worldwide reported that the campaign will roll out in the U.S., UK, France and Denmark until December 31, then expand to ten additional markets: Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Canada; Germany; Indonesia; Mexico; New Zealand; the Philippines; Sweden.


Spotify’s campaign is honing in on user habits, based on analysis of local data generated by Spotify listening in 2016 as it relates to key cultural moments. The campaign was created by Spotify’s internal creative team in New York and informed by regional teams around the globe.


Apple Music has put most of its marketing efforts into using “star power” to grab users away from its competition and has done little to leverage analytics.


Spotify’s campaign is coming at the same time as it introduced a cut-rate subscription deal.


CMO of Spotify Seth Farbman explained the thought process behind its campaign: “The holidays are always a time for connection, reflection and gratitude, but 2016 has been a particularly turbulent year for many of us … So, we wanted to look back on 2016 through the eyes (and ears) of the millions of music fans ho use Spotify every day, touching on both the global events that affected us all, as well as the personal moments which struck a chord.”


The campaign will send out personalized messages to users across Spotify itself and social media platforms. Sample messages include …


“Dear 3,749 people who streamed ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It’ the day of the Brexit vote, Hang in there.”


“To the person who listened to ‘I took a Pill in Ibiza’ 52 times on February 9th … Everyone celebrates Pancake Day differently.”


Google Asked to Remove One Billion Infringing Sites in One Year


Copyright holders filed claims about over 1,000,000,000 supposedly-infringing sites from its search engine during the past 12 months, stated TorrentFreak. This is a new record that matches the rise of takedown requests and building pressure for Google to engage in more rigorous anti-piracy measures.


Copyright holders have been inundating Google with DMCA takedown requests, focusing on “pirate links” appearing in search results.


TorrentFreak added up figures in Google’s recently-released Transparency Report and discovered that the total number of pages Google has been asked to remove from its search engine in the past year totals 1,007,741,143. More than 90 percent of the links reported were eventually removed. The rest were turned down because they were either invalid, were not found to infringe or were duplicates of other requests.


To date, Google has processed over two billion allegedly-infringing URLs from 945,000 different domains.


The fact that the second billion took only a year to process, compared to several years for the first building is an indication that the volume of takedown requests is growing very quickly. If the current rate continues, an additional billion will be added by the end of summer 2017.


Over 50 million requests – a majority – were sent in for the website But according to the operators of the site, the actual volume of infringing content is exaggerated because many of the reports point to the same files.


Takedown notices have been on the agenda for governments worldwide. In the UK, amendments to the UK’s Digital Economy Bill were proposed that would introduce fining search engines that do not take a act on piracy.


The U.S. government is also considering changes to its current takedown requirements. The Copyright Office engaged in a public consultation designed to determine the effectiveness of the existing DMCA provisions, which was extended in early November.


This consultation has led to criticism of the DMCA process from copyright groups. Google continues to insist that the current system works as is.


Google insisted, “The notice-and-takedown process has been an effective and efficient way to address online infringement … The increasing volume of URLs removed from Search each year demonstrates that rightsholders are finding the notice-and-takedown process worthwhile, efficient and scalable to their needs.”


Google said the millions of URLs that are reported daily are a sign that the DMCA process is working, but rightsholders believe this increase in volume is a sign that trying to get sites taken down is an unwinnable game.


Copyright holders and industry groups said they will continue to ask their government for major revisions to the rule. The number of reported pirate links is expected to increase without any changes.

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