8 Digital Music Observatory

The Digital Music Observatory is a fully automated, open source, open data observatory that creates public datasets to provide a comprehensive view of the European music industry. It provides high-quality and timely indicators in all four pillars of the planned official European Music Observatory as a modern, open source and largely open data-based, automated, API-supported alternative solution for this planned observatory. The insight and methodologies we are refining in the DMO are applicable and transferable to about 60 other data observatories funded by the EU which do not currently employ governmental or scientific open data.

Music is one of the most data-driven service industries where the majority of sales are already made by AI-driven autonomous systems. We provide a template that enables making these AI-driven systems accountable and trustworthy, with the goal of re-balancing the legitimate interests of creators and consumers. Music, like all creative industries, can create high-value, human jobs in the future that utilize digital skills and human creativity. Within Europe, this new balance will be an important use case of the European Data Strategy and the Digital Services Act.

The DMO places the values of the European Data Strategy at its center: our observatory model allows the seamless flow of data within the EU and across sectors; it abides by European rules concerning privacy, access, and use; it pools data from a wide range of industries and sectors and makes it available for further research. The music industry is a global industry, and the best known European music scene in the world is the British. Our observatory aims to support a new relationship between the European and the UK music industries while offering international open data products from global sources.

The DMO is a fully-functional service that can function as a testing ground of the European Data Strategy, showcasing the ways in which the music industry is affected by the problems that the Digital Services Act and European Trustworthy AI initiatives attempt to regulate. Our observatory’s policy insights also shed new light on important aspects of the Digital Skills and Connectivity agenda of the European Union. As a user-friendly one-stop shop for all things concerning data and the music industry, our DMO provides the foundations for a healthier and accountable European music ecosystem.

Please, follow us on social media, it really helps us finding new users and showing that we are able to grow our ecosystem: the Digital Music Data Observatory on Linkedin and the Digital Music Data Observatory on Twitter.

8.2 Music Economy

8.2.1 Demand Drivers

Our music economy demand drivers are data that are known to be leading indicators to an increase in mechanical copies, streaming subscriptions, public performance use, private copying or illegal use of music.

8.2.2 Supply Indicators

Our Music Economy / Supply indicators are related to the supply of new music.

8.2.3 Price Indicators

8.3 Music Diversity

8.3.1 Gender, Language, Ethnic and Other Inclusion Attributes

8.4 Music Circulation

8.4.1 Market shares

We are developing market share indicators for streaming and broadcast music.

For national, gender or other market share, we need to label both music works and recorded fixations. We use various open source databases, and machine learning algorithms to do prepare the data, but eventually our data goes through human musicology or music journalist curators.

For example, in our case study we were interested in the various definitions of Slovak market share, and representation of female artists. Both problems require rather challenging labeling.

  1. we tried to find a location to the artist / band [ you can describe why this is not always straightforward, for example, in the case of dead artists, etc.]
  2. our algorithm tried to guess the language of the 10 most popular song titles
  3. we checked if the person is on the Wikipedia list of “Slovak male singers,” “Slovak female singers,” “Slovak bands,” or their Czechoslovak versions [ who did you decide when somebody was Czechoslovak if they were Slovak]
  4. check if there was a Slovak placename mentioned on their bandcamp site
  5. check if they are associated with Slovakia on the Musicbrainz open source database
  6. if any of the artists released recodings was released in Slovakia
  7. if the majority of the artist’s released recordings was released in Slovakia


Until we got to the human curation.

and eventually we either considered_slovak or not somebody in our write-in database. We are also developing an opt-in database, where artists can give us their own ethnic, local and gender identity, if they wish to, and of course, they can opt-out from our labeling.

We are using Monte Carlo simulation and non-parametric sampling of various broadcast and music streams to get a representation of the music listened to in various cities, regions, countries, and then we apply national, language, gender, sex, locality and folksonomy tags to measure female, Slovak, Estonian, Amsterdam or Welsh market share, recommendation probability, etc.

8.5 Music & Society

8.5.1 Social Attitutes to Music

8.5.2 Participation in Music