Apple Music finally gives artists the data they crave

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Apple Music for Artists
Apple Music for Artists launches in beta today.
Photo: Apple

Apple is offering musicians an analytics dashboard through Apple Music for Artists. The new tool provides insight into the listening habits of fans, highlighting the number of track plays, song purchases, and more dating back to when Apple Music launched in June 2015.

Available today, Apple Music for Artists is “a dashboard designed to provide acts with hundreds of data points giving deep analytical insight into their fans’ listening and buying habits,” according to an exclusive outline by Billboard.

Apple Music for Artists launches in beta

Apple Music for Artists’ homepage provides users with an overview of their total plays, spins, song purchases, and album purchases. Artists can choose to specify a time period ranging from the past 24 hours to the launch of Apple Music.

Those insights can become even more granular, with the ability to look at data in individual markets and even cities. Artists can also fetch listener demographics based on things like age and location, which could help plan tours and product launches.

The homepage also highlights major milestones, like when a track features in an Apple playlist, or when an artist reaches a significant number of plays. Apple had considered including financial data, too, but decided not to for now due to the complexity of royalty payments.

The tool, which is launching in beta initially, is now available to a few thousand bands and artists, who will suggest adjustments and expansions after testing. The dashboard will open up to the several millions of artists who offer content on Apple Music and iTunes this spring.

Apple expects Apple Music for Artists to be particularly useful to independent acts, who were previously unable to access this kind of data.

“As a truly independent artist with a small team, music analytics is something we can’t do without,” Canadian R&B artist Daniel Caesar told Billboard. “We don’t have the luxury of deep major label market research to rely on to help us make important decisions like where to perform and how to advertise the things that we make. Apple’s analytics tool helps to level the playing field for artists like myself.”