Friday, May 09, 2003

Rock 'n' Roll Business School?

Today's Boston Globe offers an interesting pairing of related items. Hilary Price's Rhymes with Orange comic strip today takes a look at what happens when dance companies go multinational. And Joan Anderman's feature story about the local band Elcodrive indicates an interesting direction for independent bands to take.

When Elcodrive sends its demo recordings to labels for consideration, they included a six-page marketing plan that outlines promotional programs for radio, retail, and touring; a report from Polyphonic HMI, a company that uses software to predict potential hits; and Soundscan and Broadcast Data Systems reports. It's a band in a box!

But the truly intriguing thing here is Polyphonic HMI (Human Media Interface). Based in Barcelona, Polyphonic has developed music analysis software called Hit Song Science. The program predicts the hit potential of a given song by applying algorithms to compare the song to the last five years' worth of Top 30 hits from Billboard and UK Official charts. While the software applies no science to song lyrics -- just musical content compared to previously popular songs -- all five majors use Polyphonic's service, which runs $3,000 an album.

Someone want to gift the Anchormen $3,000? Our new CD will come out May 16. Maybe it's better we don't know how good or bad we really are.

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