Streaming and social platforms are thriving, with Instagram booming as a social platform for music, according to the company that's been dubbed the Moneyball for Music.

Based on an analysis of its data released Tuesday, Next Big Sound thinks the music industry should "shift our focus from the decline in sales, and instead focus on maximizing digital revenue from streaming and social interaction with fans."

Data show that online plays in the first six months of 2015 far exceed the total number of plays of songs online in all of 2014 for the platforms the Pandora-owned company monitors. And with 14 billion new followers, page likes, and stations added through June of 2015, "social is growing like a weed."

Instagram, which recently launched dedicated music account @music, was the big hit. The company in May counted roughly 280 million new followers for artists on Instagram, a six-fold increase of what Next Big Sound saw less than a year ago 

Such a multiple "speaks to the skyrocketing popularity of Instagram as a means for interacting with fans,” reads the analysis post.

Next Big Sound, named one of Inc.’s 30 Under 30 companies for 2015, based its findings on data from YouTube, Vevo, Vimeo, Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud and Pandora, which acquired the company in May. The analysis didn't include music giants Apple Music or Beats, Fast Company noted

Next Big Sound uses data to pinpoint candidates for the next big hit song or musician and predict album sales. In terms of a raw number, the company counted one trillion plays in the first half of 2015 in addition to that growth in social. 

Next Big Sound co-founder and CEO White told Inc. in a previous interview that the company hopes to eventually bring its metrics to TV shows, video games, movies and other products. 

Published on: Aug 12, 2015