Data is probably the last thing on your mind when trying to put together an album or create your artist persona, but our guest for this week’s Music Industry Mondays event begs to differ. Alex Brees, Founder and CEO of un:hurd, tells our audience about the power of data when it comes to building a successful music career.

Eager to find out more? Read on to learn how you as an artist can reach a much more valuable audience and build campaigns that will help you find fans for life. You can also watch the full talk here to get all the details your heart desires.

The launching of un:hurd

Alex has successfully bridged the gap between artists and their audiences. But before that, he was a trading analyst in the tech sector, where he helped businesses use their data to make more effective marketing decisions.

He then pivoted to the music industry and found himself at Universal Music as a global analyst, contributing to campaigns for some artists you may or may not have heard of… Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Bastille, ring any bells? During this time, he worked to inspire these artists to use their data in the best ways to connect with their most valuable fans.

Recognising how difficult it can be for independent artists to use data for strategic marketing decisions, Alex founded un:hurd. This music tech company focuses on aggregating data from various social media platforms—Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube—and provides artists with actionable tasks and recommendations through its AI-driven system.

By offering insights and recommendations, un:hurd aims to reduce uncertainty in the marketing decisions of independent artists who are navigating the increasingly crowded landscape of digital music creation.

How to stand out from the 120,000 new daily uploaded songs

Sorry for the sudden harsh reality check, but it’s true. There are over 100,000 new songs uploaded to music streaming services every single day, so how on earth are you going to cut through that noise?

Addressing the democratisation of music creation is at un:hurd’s core. With the accessibility of music production tools, anyone can now create music on their phone, leading to a vast pool of musical content and, in turn, making it seem nearly impossible for new artists to make a real entrance.

un:hurd’s solution lies in empowering artists with the tools to leverage their data effectively, enabling them to make the best decisions that enhance their visibility in the digital music space.

What does data have to do with music?

Data can help you advance your music career in so many ways, from refining your marketing strategies and targeting the right audience to understanding the nuances of your fan base and making informed decisions.

It's not just about numbers, it's about using the power of insights to have the tools to stand out, build a meaningful connection with your audience and launch your artistic journey forward. un:hurd really highlights that data-driven decisions are becoming essential for finding your footing in the complexities of the digital music era.

Over the past 18 months, un:hurd has provided independent artists with a streamlined approach to social media advertising. Say goodbye to fiddling with Meta ad processes and whatever lies over there in the world of TikTok, un:hurd’s platform enables artists to create and run targeted ads in just two minutes.

Integrating un:hurd’s services not only makes the marketing process for independent artists a lot easier but also enhances their ability to navigate the competitive and dynamic landscape of the digital music industry.

Advice from Alex on how to start your musical career

Alex took some scary but strategic steps to validate his ideas and refine campaign approaches. He began by approaching his favourite artists and tried explaining his ideas to see if they stuck.

He did the rounds to a few investors, getting rejections from a lot of them, which is basically a rite of passage for entrepreneurs, and even went on Dragon’s Den to try and get his ideas off the ground. All of his hard work paid off as un:hurd has now evolved into a team of 16 based in London, supporting over 25,000 artists across the globe. The only way you’re going to find out if those brilliant ideas you have stick is if you give it your best shot.

Pitching can be nerve-wracking, but the experience you’ll gain afterwards will be invaluable. Don’t forget the importance of simplicity when it comes to pitching, as investors often skim through numerous proposals daily. Passion, according to Alex, is a key element. Being nervous is fine because it shows genuine care, and those nerves can turn out to be a great asset, trust us! It just shows how much the whole thing means to you.

As much as everything seems to be online and digitalised nowadays, you also shouldn’t forget that social media isn’t everything. Don’t be afraid to look into email marketing and WhatsApp databases. This is where you can find real connections with your fans. Just look at Charli XCX; she hosts live Skype calls with her fans to test out new music and get feedback. Sounds like a nice time, right? Don’t turn away too quickly from offline marketing.

Want to know more about how data can propel your music career? Watch the full talk here for all the details, or join us for our next event, where you can learn something just as interesting from a staple in the music industry. Get your tickets here.