How did Trippie Redd go from a virtual unknown to stardom? What took Logic from cult success to an artist who fills arenas? How do labels identify the superstars of tomorrow?

The answers to questions like these have traditionally involved factors like touring, endless promo runs, and lucky breaks. But now, artists and the labels that build their careers are finding a new way to move up the ranks: data.

Numbers and analysis have long been powerful tools in the music business (think of album sales, BDS counts of radio spins, and the Billboard charts that crunch those numbers). But with more of music consumption becoming digital, there is an ever-increasing amount of information available. Increasingly, numbers are being used to discover potential breakout songs, help advance artists’ careers, and even to determine the sound of the music itself.

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