Music Industry Data in Action: A mini-symposium and digital resource workshop

Music Industry Data in Action: A mini-symposium and digital resource workshop presented by MusicID

MusicID is delighted to announce its first ever Digital Symposium and Workshop, to be held June 17 at 1:00–3:00 Eastern.

About Us

MusicID is the leading academic platform and aggregator of global music chart data. Incorporating 5,452 different charts spanning 74 countries and over half a billion lines of data, MusicID Data provides unique access to source music industry data of record charts, current and archival digital charts, and even Spotify stream counts. Spanning over 120 years of records, the MusicID platform enables researchers and students to visualise, explore, compare and download the data patterns and infographics for sales, revenue and cultural impact for artists, albums and singles across the world.

At MusicID, we have the good fortune of hearing about exciting work being done by scholars in diverse fields, all over the world, every day. With so many fascinating projects on our radar, we want to hold a mini two-part symposium, giving our community an opportunity to share some of their recent and ongoing research. The symposium will be (relatively) informal and interactive — not to mention, brief — because we all know how our attention span and productivity have been affected this past year.

Part I – Symposium (1:00 Eastern Time)

For the first hour, we will host an informal symposium of 15 minute presentations, with time for Q&A after each. In conjunction with our recent MEIEA Summit panel, “Data, Pedagogy and the Music Industries: Challenges and Opportunities” and data literacy initiative to provide resources to teachers and students, these presentations will highlight current research being done using MusicID.

At first glance, music chart data seems a niche resource, providing trivia for pop music histories or metrics for music industry professionals. What I, and many of our users, have discovered, is that once all of this data is collected into a central, searchable archive and visualised into graphs, chart data becomes a narrative of recorded music consumption, tastes, cultural trends, the co-evolutions of formats and songwriting—and even of sociological and anthropological issues, such as ethnic migration, demographic shifts, and economic up- and downturns.

Presentations may come from the perspective of musicology, business, music theory, data science, or any other applicable discipline. Issues that may be explored include:

  • How does format (45s, LPs, MP3s, Tik-Tok, etc.) affect songwriting trends?
  • How do record charts reflect cultural exchange, appropriation, or other factors of globalization?
  • How do corporate campaigns, from the payola of the 1950s to contemporary viral social media, drive global taste and culture?
  • On the flip side, how do nations retain and promote local music even under immense, universalizing, global corporate influence? How do local stars break out and achieve international recognition?
  • How can record charts drive analytical research, as in music theory, and what are some of the benefits or caveats of using chart archives as a corpus?
  • How can we use databases such as MusicID as a classroom tool?

The final program (three speakers) will be announced in early June.

Our goals are to help our community discover the myriad of ways in which they can use the data provided by MusicID, generate discussion, inspire, and in our digital workshop, help you to find and use the resources you need to make your research happen.

Part II – Digital Workshop (2:00 Eastern)

A digital workshop to briefly introduce you to some popular digital humanities or data science resources, and walk you through using MusicID’s three modules, Data, Revenue, and Impact. Our goal is to introduce you to the MusicID interface and give you the confidence to go forth and use it on your own terms. Complimentary access to MusicID for two weeks of June will be provided to attendees.

If you have multiple screens or can juggle a split screen, we encourage you to follow along on your own device and put the “work” in workshop. (Split screen instructions for Windows and for Mac.) Direct participation will better enable you to ask questions during the workshop and will give you a better understanding of how to use the system.


Attendance is free but registration is required.

Please RSVP through Eventbrite, and you will receive a confirmation email with Zoom meeting details. We will also be linking Zoom with Eventbrite so that you can access the event directly through the event page.

We hope to see you for the full event, but attendees are welcome to attend only the first or second half.