New Tool Aims to Connect Brands and Artists Based On Fans' Music Tastes

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Music Audience Exchange (MAX), a tech company that straddles the area between branding, marketing and music, has spent the past several years focused on one main problem: how to better connect brands and their customers through the effective use of music. Now, the company is unveiling the tool it has built to address that issue with its MAX Artist Matching Engine, a tool that the company says "uses neural networks to map music tastes onto the demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioral attributes of music audiences."

Brand speak aside, what MAX has done with its Artist Matching Engine is create a database of information based on the listening and lifestyle habits of fans of more than 1.8 million artists across 900 genres around the globe, largely using the social media efforts of the artists themselves to help distribute a survey to their fans that asks questions like, "What role would you say music plays in your life?" "Why do you listen to music?" "What do you do in your spare time?" and "Are you more practical or more of an idealist?"

Questions like those, as well as demographic information and more detailed queries about music preferences and product usage, help underpin the tool in order to help brands choose artists and music that can more specifically engage the types of customers they're trying to reach.

“Today’s marketers not only have to understand their target audiences, but they need to be able to reach them in a personal way," MAX vp product Jeff Rosenfeld said in a statement. "The MAX Artist Matching Engine has analyzed and segmented one of the most data-rich cultural identifiers available -- music preferences -- enabling brands to better understand their target audiences, then reach them through experiences that are welcomed instead of interruptive."

Through custom links, artists that share surveys with their fans can also get a report back with insights about how their fans interact with their music and what their general tastes are, as well as other brands or companies whose own fans or followers are similar and may be effective sponsorship partners. MAX uses the audience data to help connect artists and brands with similar followings and objectives who may be able to help each other; one example the company touts being a partnership it helped facilitate between Ford and Brantley Gilbert, which led to a multi-faceted ad campaign involving VIP meet-and-greets for fans on Gilbert's latest tour, and which also lined up with Ford Truck Month.

As Rosenfeld put it: "Artists benefit from insights about their fans, as well as access to brands who can provide them with promotional opportunities to help build their careers.”