Luminate has been the music industry’s data authority for over three decades. As the company readies the launch of a more sophisticated platform, its leaders discuss the past, present and future of the operation — and how they’ve kept pace with the evolving business.
PAST – Starting with the launch of SoundScan in 1991, Luminate “has continued to reflect changing consumption habits” — from the CD boom to the streaming age — says Scott Ryan, the company’s executive vp of commercial. In 2015, just as streaming was becoming a primary consumption format, Luminate launched Music Connect, designed “as a next-generation solution to SoundScan, which measured sales only,” says chief product officer Arnaud Retureau. But with more recent developments necessitating the ability “to pull deeper insights at a quicker pace,” Retureau adds, Music Connect began showing its age — calling for a new and improved platform to encompass the myriad ways music is consumed today.
PRESENT – Announced at the Music Biz conference in May, Luminate’s eponymous new platform, which is currently in beta, was built to reflect the rapidly evolving modern music industry. Improvements include a more customizable user interface that allows for sorting, filtering and grouping; enhanced search functionality; more comprehensive artist metadata; the addition of market-level data from specific countries; and support for such forms of consumption as short-form video and gaming. “The fundamental approach to our new platform was simple in theory — to accommodate new data sources and improve the ways in which users can see the data they need with improved insights,” says chief data officer Glenn Walker.
FUTURE – Given the platform’s “expansive capabilities,” chief commercial officer Stephen Blackwell says, “We are constantly engaged with new data sources to enhance our [analytic] sets.” Later this year, Luminate will welcome data partners Deezer, Melon and Styngr, with more slated to be announced. In the coming months, Luminate will also build film and TV metadata into the platform to “allow for a more holistic view of the entertainment landscape,” says Luminate executive vp/head of film and TV Mark Hoebich. Looking further afield, the explosion of artificial intelligence technology “holds the potential to amplify both the quantity of content and the volume of data by tenfold within a few years,” says CEO Rob Jonas — making a more advanced data platform a must.
Luminate is an independently operated company owned by PME TopCo, a PMC subsidiary and joint venture between Penske Media Corporation and Eldridge. Billboard is an independently operated company owned by PME Holdings, a subsidiary of PME TopCo.
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