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Warner Music acquires AI A&R tool Sodatone

By | Published on Thursday 29 March 2018

Warner Music

Warner Music has acquired Sodatone, a data-crunching platform that seeks to help with artist development and fanbase building. The label says the deal will enable it to better “search for the superstars of tomorrow”.

Founded by data scientists Jerry Zhang and Arjun Bali, Sodatone’s software pulls in data from social media, streaming platforms and touring companies. It then mashes it all up with a bit of machine learning and spits out predictors of success, based on things like fan loyalty and general reaction to an artists’ activities.

“At Warner Music, we’re creating an entrepreneurial environment where art and technology thrive together”, says Warner’s recordings chief Max Lousada. “Arjun and Jerry are two talented pioneers, whose passion for algorithms and trends is matched by our love for music and culture”.

He goes on: “They understand that A&R instinct has always been informed by different types of data, and have created a tool that brings new sophistication and foresight to creative decisions. As the youngest member of our growing family of brands, Sodatone will help to differentiate us in the search for the superstars of tomorrow”.

Zhang and Bali add in a joint statement: “We chose Warner Music Group as our new home because we respect the company’s openness to experimentation and admire their approach to artist development. Having worked with so many music companies, it will be inspiring to be closer to the music-making process, and explore how we can fine-tune our technology to make it an even more powerful tool in the hands of the creatives”.

Despite now being owned by Warner Music, Sodatone says that it will continue to offer its services to artist managers, agents, promoters and indie labels. Whether they’ll like the idea of having all their artist data on servers owned by a major label remains to be seen.



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