Ei: The Making Of A Global Data Grid

Greg Delaney does millions and millions of lines every day. And we’re not talking class a drugs here, but something far more exciting: data. Delaney is the founder of London-based Entertainment Intelligence, a company that collects, cleans and categorizes the vast amounts of data entertainment companies have to deal with today. 
Erik Gilbert, Greg Delaney, Sammy Andrews

The difference between platforms like Soundcharts or Social Bakers, for example, is that Ei isn’t just “grabbing the freely available data, which can be turned off at any point,” Delaney told Pollstar. Because Ei is working directly with the artists, promoters, booking agents, managers, and record companies, all of which have access to a wealth of far more in-depth stats, it can bundle those different strands of data in one place and extract meaningful information, which in turn will enable its clients to make informed decisions in their respective fields of work.

“When things are happening you want to know why they are happening or why there isn’t anything happening,” Delaney continued.

Say an ad in a certain medium leads to increasing ticket sales, Ei will tell the promoter why. Artists or any client with access to the insights and analytics pages of Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter can connect them to Ei.

“We track it every hour from then on, so you can look at the movement of your viral stats, your organic reach, the number of followers, top 20 cities etc. in real time,” he explained.

Ei also allows its clients to share certain components of that data.

“If you’re an artist manager and you want to authorize a record label to see that information, that’s fine. The record label or distributor is already receiving the streaming and download data through us. The artist’s manager can then include other insight data into the mix, which will enrich the experience for everyone and help your label sell your album.”

The challenge a company like Ei faces is convincing people that the more access to data everybody has, the better. After all, to many companies the data they gather is a selling point, which is why they invested in the past to own a data insights company.

Live Nation for example has BigChampagne, Spotify has The Echo Nest, Pandora has The Next Big Sound.

“It’s about disarming people and proving to them that we’re not a threat. We’re not a retailer or a music distributor or a ticket seller. We have no ax to grind,” said Delaney, who’s encouraging the industry “to talk openly about this. We’re not asking you to give us client email addresses.”

Ei just announced the appointment of Sammy Andrews as co-director besides Delaney and Erik Gilbert, who left the board of Essential Music & Marketing to also take on executive duties.

Andrews, who’s always been very outspoken about the industry’s reluctance to become more transparent, told Pollstar: “A lot of ticketing agencies sadly still put a closed wall up against their data. We need people like artists, managers, promoters and agents to apply some pressure, so that we can get ticket sale [stats] from all ticket agencies.”

Andrews said that, as artists made most of their money through touring these days, it is crucial for Ei to include ticketing stats into their service. She emphasized that everybody in the ecosystem would benefit from an all-encompassing outline that Ei aims to provide: “Knowing instantly how much a tour is selling everywhere empowers the artists, the promoters, the managers, the agents, and to some degree the ticketing agencies.”

She emphasized that not all ticketing agencies were equally reluctant. Some understood that “in this day and age we have this amazing wealth of data between us, and if the live industry fuels the recording industry and the recording industry fuels the live industry we all benefit.”

In times where streaming services are looking into moving into ticketing, “the larger ticketing agencies especially would be foolish not allowing the rest of the industry to work with them. It’s time to progress. Let’s all try and help each other in this ecosystem and encourage revenue in all areas.”