Screen the Online Performance of Any Musician in 8 Quick Steps

Assess every artist’s potential through their social media and streaming stats.
Screen the Performance of Any Musician in 8 Quick Steps
Urska Jaksa

For label managers and A&Rs who want to evaluate their roster's performance or be on the lookout for talented musicians to sign, checking an artist's online stats is a must. On Viberate, every artist in the world (across the entire genre spectrum) has their own analytics page with a complete overview of their online performance.

❓ WHAT YOU'LL LEARN IN THIS GUIDE: 

We’ll show you how to assess an artist’s potential in 8 quick steps, and we’ll do it all in one place with Viberate's Artist analytics. We'll learn how to spot the artists with high potential, based on:

  • a rising rank within their country and genre,
  • outstanding social media and music performance,
  • improved online performance in the past year,
  • a strong fanbase with promotional potential and active music channels.
➡️ We’ll do this with a practical example. Let’s say we’re an A&R on a mission to sign European House artists. One of the interesting rising musicians we’ve spotted lately is Nando Rodriguez, a rising House artist from Spain. At first glance, he fits the brief, but we want to screen his stats to be sure.

First, find the artist to screen.

We type his name in the search box in the navigation bar and find him in the results.

✅ Check how the artist's Viberate Ranks have changed lately.

On the left, there’s a column with the artist's Viberate Ranks. They determine how the artist is ranked overall, in their country, genre and subgenres, and whether they've ranked up or down recently. The ranking is entirely objective and based on an artist’s online performance.

The “Overall” listing refers to every single artist worldwide, so it’s normal if the artists are ranked in the thousands (first come all the Dua Lipas, Drakes and Bad Bunnies of the world).

👉 The green arrows in our case indicate that the artist has been rising in every field, which is a great sign.

Check whether the artist is outperforming their peers on online channels.

In Career Health, the first section, you can quickly check the artist's recent Social Media and Music Channel Performance in a simple "poor, fair, good" manner (we can overlook Network Respect for now). To make it fair, Nando is only compared to similarly ranked peers in House.

We’d like to see at least one of those two indicators in the green. Here’s why: emerging artists usually have good Music Channel Performance, meaning they've recently released something successful. Social Media Performance can still be lagging, because it takes time before they develop a good social media strategy. Another example are social media stars, who are good on socials but lacking on music channels. If all the indicators are in green, we’re most probably talking about a superstar act (but in our case, this is not what we're after).

Nando Rodriguez' Career Health.

Nando Rodriguez' Career Health.

👉 We see Nando’s Social Media Performance is really good, while his Music Channel Performance is fair. As we’re looking for an artist, who’s not yet well-established, this is ok.

 Check whether their online performance has improved in the last year.

In the next section, Career Performance, look at the line that shows the artist’s yearly trend. An upward trend indicates that they’re gaining traction, a "hockey stick" line indicates a breakthrough artist who's gained a lot of popularity, and a straighter line shows stable overall popularity.

Nando Rodriguez' Career Performance.

Nando Rodriguez' Career Performance.

👉 In our case, we have quite the “hockey stick” since November, which is another good sign.

A click on the icons on the line takes us directly to the specific highlight below so we can see what’s behind it.

One thing to watch for: the line is based on overall online performance, measured in Viberate Points. Sudden “stair-like” increases can be the result of social media and music channel links added to the Artist Page. This is not the case in the image above. If we weren’t sure, we’d check the Fanbase and Engagement sections below.

  Find out how well distributed the artist's fanbase is.

To do that, scroll down to Total Fanbase Distribution and check whether the artist has a diversified presence on social media and music channels. This means they can promote their releases, gigs and merch on multiple platforms.

We’re looking for at least one strong channel that can be used for promotional purposes.

It’s important to note the distinction between emerging and well-established artists. Emerging artist usually grow one channel at a time. When they have a strong presence on one, it’s easier to invite their followers from one platform to another (for example, by promoting their Spotify tracks on Instagram). Established artists, on the other hand, have had more time to build a stronger presence on multiple platforms.

Nando Rodriguez' Total Fanbase Distribution.

Nando Rodriguez' Total Fanbase Distribution.

👉 In Nando’s case above, it’s evident that Instagram stands out (and has promotional potential), but there are also supporting music channels with the potential for growth. It’s not surprising that his SoundCloud is stronger, as many Electronic artists release their music on the channel.

For comparison, here’s the fanbase distribution of well-established House artist Oliver Heldens, who has a strong fanbase on several channels.

Oliver Heldens' Total Fanbase Distribution.

Oliver Heldens' Total Fanbase Distribution.

Check whether the artist's fanbase is engaged.

A strong fanbase is important, but only if it’s also engaged – if the followers like to listen to the artist’s music, comment on posts, are interested in buying tickets to gigs, etc. The Fanbase vs. Engagement section compares the overall fanbase with the engagement and sums this up perfectly.

This is how it looks with Nando Rodriguez:

Nando Rodriguez' Fanbase vs. Engagement.

Nando Rodriguez' Fanbase vs. Engagement.

There are two things we have to keep in mind, based on the image above:

#1 FANBASE GROWTH VS. ENGAGEMENT (on the left): When engagement grows parallel with the fanbase, the artist is on the right path. Sometimes artists try to increase their fanbase size with short-lived techniques (such as buying fans). In such cases, the fanbase grows, but the engagement stays flat, because those followers aren’t fans who’d actually be interested in the artist's music.

#2 FANBASE SIZE VS. ENGAGEMENT (on the right): Look for artists with the blue engagement line above the red fanbase size line. This means that their monthly engagement is higher than their total fanbase size. It indicates a highly engaged audience and it often happens when the artist is still in the breakthrough stage.

 

👉 Knowing that, we can read this section correctly. On the left, we can see that the fanbase and engagement grew simultaneously, which is positive. On the right, we can see that from November, the engagement is higher than the fanbase size, which is another good sign.

(Note that the engagement here is measured in likes, plays, and video views.)

See where the streams are coming from.

With the Monthly Streaming Map, you can see where people listen to the artist on YouTube and Spotify and identify potential markets.

👉 In our case, we’ve already seen that Spotify and YouTube are not Nando's strong music channels, which is clear from the map below. On Spotify, his strongest fanbase is in the United States and Germany, with a lot of room for improvement. YouTube, however, doesn’t surprise us, as this isn't a primary music channel for Electronic artists (with the possible exception of Dance). It’s good, however, that he has a stronger following on SoundCloud, as we found out above.

Nando Rodriguez' Monthly Streaming Map.

Nando Rodriguez' Monthly Streaming Map.

Finally, check how well the artist's social media content performs.

At the bottom of the page, check the artist’s performance on Instagram and Twitter in the past 3 months. We’re mainly interested in comparing Nando’s engagement rate on Instagram to the industry average, because Instagram is his strongest channel.

 An engagement level above the industry average would indicate that the artist has a highly engaged audience. As the average engagement rate naturally decreases with the size of the fanbase, every artist is only compared to other similar artists.

Nando Rodriguez' Instagram Content Performance.

Nando Rodriguez' Instagram Content Performance.

👉 As it turns out, his engagement rate exceeds the industry average, highlighted in green. This means he’s doing really well on Instagram.

Below, we can also check his top Instagram posts in the past 3 months. We can see they’re all music-related, which rounds it off nicely – we’re looking for somebody whose fanbase is excited about their work.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

When screening an artist’s online performance, look for:

  • An improved Viberate Rank in the artist's country, genre or subgenre.
  • Good music and/or social media performance compared to similar artists.
  • Rising (or stable) online performance in the past year.
  • At least one strong channel that can be used for promotional purposes.
  • An engaged fanbase.
  • Well-performing content compared to the industry average.
  • Active music channels.

➡️ It’s your turn to give it a go. Go to the search box and try this method on an artist you’d like to screen.

Urska Jaksa

Urska Jaksa

Managing Editor at Viberate
Storyteller with a nerd eye for music data. Believes in the healing power of group singing, while her ultimate cure are live shows.