IDMA 2020 Nominees and Big Data: Here’s How it Works!

International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) have a long tradition of celebrating outstanding artists, venues, festivals, services, and other electronic music industry stakeholders. For years it has been one of the pillars of the Winter Music Conference that has thousands of dance music professionals from all over the world coming to Miami each March. The IDMA winners are chosen by a public vote, however, the past two years the nominees in the artist categories have been selected by the music-tech startup, Viberate.

Founded by a techno legend, UMEK, Viberate analyzes over a billion data points from social and streaming sites for almost half a million artists. For the IDMA they single out those who made the most impact within a one-year period. This methodology is fair and objective since it looks into the nominated artists’ true popularity, regardless of where they come from or who they work with. If fans show them love, they get picked.

The methodology goes well beyond just counting likes and followers, or as the company’s co-founder, Vasja Veber, says: “We monitor most of the global social media channels and streaming sites. In order to rank artists by their popularity across all those channels, we need to boil down an array of unrelated metrics into one single key performance indicator. For each channel we measure audience, engagement, and the ratio between those two. An engaged audience means more than a huge mass of inactive followers. We also look into how artists are following each other across monitored channels. So if you’re a local techno producer, and you get followed by Adam Beyer and Amelie Lens on Soundcloud or Twitter, this definitely brings extra points to your profile, and you rank higher. This, combined with a pile of other raw data, is then processed by our statistical algorithms. The result is various popularity charts – filtered by genres, countries and different time periods. Working in a music startup sure sounds like fun, but with Viberate it’s more about advanced math and all those other things most of us hated in school.”

For those who want to find out more about the use of big data in the music industry, WMC will host a panel on the topic, featuring Rolling Stone’s Director of Charts – Emily Blake, NWA founding member – Arabian Prince, Napster’s Chief of Programming – Andre Glanz, and Viberate’s business development director – Vasja Veber. More about the panel can be found here: