We are only one working day into 2012, and already two data startups announced funding rounds. Klout confirmed its Series C, and now social music data gatherer, Next Big Sound, is set to announce a $6.5 million Series A. The TechStars startup (Class of 2009) just got backing from IA Ventures and Foundry Group. It will also be opening an office in New York City (it is headquartered in Boulder, CO).
The Next Big Sound measures how popular bands are and fan interaction across the social web, from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Last.fm. It gives record labels a dashboard which shows them how fans are engaging with bands online in relation to album sales (both offline and online), radio play, and other key data. It’s like Klout for the music industry, but with lots more bells and whistles. It charges $79 per artist per month for its Premier service, and boasts two major record labels as customers. The startup also powers two of Billboard’s charts: The Social 50 and the Next Big Sound chart of up-and-coming artists.
“Next Big Sound is delivering state-of-the-art business intelligence tools to the multi-billion dollar music industry,” says investor Roger Ehrenberg of IA Ventures. “They are integrating an array of proprietary and open data into beautiful data visualizations and analytics, empowering decision-makers to direct ad spend and promotional dollars to maximize ROI.” He believes the platform can be applied to other industries also.
The music industry is blind unless it knows what is happening online, and the Next Big SOund wants to provide it with a social dashboard to determine which bands are gaining momentum and which ones are losing it. In the new world of social music, data is everything.