Buzzdeck could tell if you're gonna be a rock star

Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:20pm EST
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By Matt Cowan

LONDON (Reuters) - For a virtually unknown 16-year-old British ukulele player and singer, Misty Miller already boasts an impressive international following.

"The places in the world that know my music? South America, China and Australia," she says with slight astonishment.

Miller knows this by looking at a "heatmap" generated by a new online tracking tool called Buzzdeck.

Built by the London-based music distributors Artists Without A Label (AWAL), Buzzdeck is an attempt to provide musicians and their managers with a set of insights to help them decide where to target their promotional efforts.

AWAL co-founder Kevin Bacon said Buzzdeck aggregates data from websites such as YouTube, MySpace, Twitter as well as the iTunes music store and companies that track radio plays to present a coherent view of where an artist is gaining traction. Blogs and peer-to-peer networks are also monitored.

"We're currently tracking about 70 or 80 data feeds from probably 20 to 25 different sources," says Bacon sitting in an office of London's RAK studios.

The digital distribution arm of AWAL released Miller's four-song "Remember" album in the summer with very little fanfare.

"I had the fear the sales would be in the single units per day or at best in the tens and twenties," says Bacon. "What happened was on day one we did about 200, and day two we did 200. We went on and I think we've just hit 6,000 downloads. It wasn't just 'Whoopee, great!' I was able to look into that and learn from it."   Continued...

<p>The cover of the Misty Miller EP is seen in this undated handout. REUTERS/AMG-London/Handout</p>