This is a guest post by Marcus Taylor, founder of Venture Harbour, a digital marketing agency that specializes in working with brands in the entertainment industries.

Collectively, Google and Facebook probably own more data on market supply and demand patterns than anyone else. What many people do not realize is that much of this data is publicly available. For a bit of fun I decided to see what patterns I could find about the music industry in Google and Facebook’s pool of user behavior data.


#1 Less people want to buy music, but the same amount are trying to sell it.

Below is a graph from Google Trends, which shows the popularity of Google searches containing “buy music” over the past decade. No surprises here – there has been a gradual decline in searches over the past decade, with small peaks in the run up to Christmas each year.

But it gets interesting when we compare this graph to the one below, which shows the popularity of people searching Google for solutions to sell their music. This search volume will likely be a mixture of people looking to flog their old CDs on eBay, as well as bands looking to sell their music online using services like EmuBands and CD Baby.

The insight here is that despite a drop in demand for buying music, there doesn’t appear to be a corresponding decrease in desire to sell music.


#2 There is a strong demand for music industry jobs

Each month, over 74,000 searches are made in Google for “music jobs” in the UK alone. According to Cultural Skills Sector Skills Council there are 102,220 people employed by the music industry in the whole country. Globally, there are 246,000 Google searches for terms relating to music jobs every single month. As the owner of, I can certainly vouch for the fact that there’s a large disparity between the demand for music jobs and the number of jobs available at any one time.


#3 Is dubstep phasing out?

Using Google Trends we can see how the popularity of different genres change over time based on the number of people searching for them. The graph below shows how techno (red) has gradually declined in popularity over the decade, while EDM (yellow) has slowly increased in popularity as a search term. Dubstep (blue) rapidly increased in popularity around 2010, hitting its peak in 2012, and slowly declining ever since.


#4 Roughly 1 in 15 people admit they like Justin Bieber

Perhaps the most worrying fact of all is that according to Facebook’s ad targeting tool, roughly 1 in 15 people like Justin Bieber worldwide*…

*Facebook only allow you to target a maximum of 25 countries at a time, so ‘Worldwide’ is based on a sample of 25 of the most populous countries and various other important music markets.


#5 Earbits has been cited on 237,000 pages on the web!

Excluding the Earbits website, there are approximately 237,000 pages indexed in Google that mention “Earbits”. Since the site launched in 2010, that’s an average of 179 mentions of Earbits on the web per day!


A Parting Thought

As a natural skeptic, I often question the rigor and motives behind survey data and so-called “studies” on industry trends. While not 100% accurate all of the time, Google and Facebook both provide a refreshingly unbiased source of data trends that are based on enormous data samples. As long as we’re asking the right questions, there are many answers that can be found in Google and Facebook’s endless pit of data.

Image Credit: Giuseppe Costantino

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