The digitalisation has hit especially the music industry hard. But what was once regarded as its deathblow, turned out as its savior over the years.

We remember: What firestorm there was, when Napster as music-sharing site emerged in the internet around the turn of the millennium. Many more followed and the music industry reacted with pure horror. It took several years for them to wake from their state of shock and to start using the digitalization for their purpose. Nowadays about 50% of the sales are generated from digital download and streaming services and – as was expected – the sales of the streaming services will sooner or later set the tone. How soon, Philipp von Esebeck of Sony Music Entertainment cannot even asses on the basis of extensive analysis, but the company is ready.

Big Data meets personal contact

Sony reacted with flexibility to the developments, Philipp von Esebeck explained. Interdisciplinary teams, task forces and experts outside of the record industry allowed for them to keep up with the speed of changes. For additionally being one step ahead of the trends, Sony Music Germany relies on 2 pillars: data analysis as well as the relationship to the artists.

While data analysis sheds light on the current taste of the music listeners, a good personal contact can ensure that the right artists can be found within the Sony network. That way users get what they feel like at the moment. And this on all platforms: No matter if still via sale of physical records, the creation of playlists with streaming services or actions on Social Media platforms – by means of suitably tailored content the interests of all target groups are met.

The only constant is change

„Experience showed that it never ends. The industry keeps on changing continuously and we are wondering again and again whether we are on the right track. The only constant is change.”

Philipp von Esebeck

According to Esebeck the music industry has learned one thing on its way of digital transformation during the past 10 years: The developments are ongoing. Again and again one has to question his company and processes to make sure that one is still on the right track. Music centers around feelings, emotions and personal relationships and the past showed that trends come up faster than the best data analysis could predict.