Australian festival vets present the Radar Station, a ‘screening tool’ for talent bookers

A passion for live music and data is the building block of The Radar Station, an Australian-based music analytics platform designed by its founders to take the guesswork out of talent booking.

The developing startup is the brainchild of Steve Halpin, director of Cattleyard Promotions, producers of the award-winning Groovin the Mooand festival programmer Rich Moffat, both veterans of Australia’s live music community, which before the pandemic was valued at multi-billion dollars.

The start-up highlights breaking artists by analyzing real listening data across genres and around the world, explains Halpin, who understands the numbers game better than most – he is also a statistician.

The project began life as a way to determine which of the “countless number of new bands to book for our festival,” he says Billboard. Using cold, hard data to help program a festival line-up removes personal biases and, if all goes to plan, delivers a line-up and show that people will part with their money for.

In a nutshell, the service collects data from a variety of online platforms to determine the fastest-growing artists relative to all other artists in the database.

Consider it “a screening tool that identifies the artists who are gaining traction online the fastest out of the thousands who release music each week,” says Halpin.

“We’re not so interested in just the ‘biggest’ artist, as everyone already knows who these are,” he explains. “The focus is on followers rather than monthly listeners, who are often inflated by cameos, guest appearances and famous-city association.”

Radar Station also actively tracks live concert data via Songkick, “which helps keep the focus on the acts that are likely to have a longer career as opposed to just the artists with a viral smash that doesn’t really exist as a performance entity,” he continues.

Admittedly, Radar was a “dry” monthly report at its inception, with pages of tables and summary statistics. It evolved into a weekly report focusing on the fastest growing artists. By publishing every week, the Radar Station has become much more dynamic and able to “identify fast-growing artists faster,” notes Halpin.

Successes so far have included early predictions of breakout success for Amy Shark and Khalid.

“Although their following was relatively small when we first started tracking them, they grew very quickly week-on-week compared to all the other artists we followed,” notes Halpin, “so it’s no surprise that they’ve become so popular artists for years. later.”

In 2019, The Kid Laroi was identified as a breakout artist in early 2019 with fewer than 3,000 Spotify followers. The Kid now has millions waiting for his next drop. Recent Radar Station breakout artists include Eem Triplin, LF System, Skin on Skin and Domi & JD Bec.

Artists are tracked globally and can be broken down on a territory-by-territory basis upon request.

After crunching the numbers, Halpin and Moffat recently identified Australian electronic artist Skin on Skin as the fastest growing artist in Australia and one of the 10 fastest growing acts in the world.

“Great art now can quickly find an audience, and once that army follows the artist, anything is possible,” reckons Halpin. “I’m sure you’ll soon see Skin on Skin playing shows all over the world.”

The upgraded service includes a free weekly email and an enhanced members-only version, and of course several charts showing the top 100 artists in the “breaking”, “building” and “established” categories.

Subscribers include festival programmers, venue bookers, record companies, publishers and sync supervisors.

Visit theradarstation.com.au for more.

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