Penske Media Acquires BuzzAngle Music To Leverage Data

Late last year, Penske Media made big news when it bought a controlling stake in legendary music magazine Rolling Stone. Since then, the group has expanded, including the acquisition of SheKnows Media.

The question is: How to maximize on all that new real estate? One way is through data. 

According to Variety, the media company is making a strategic investment in music analytics service BuzzAngle. Penske plans to leverage its key brands through data mined by BuzzAngle’s stable of tools.

BuzzAngle was founded in 2013 by Border City Media founder Jim Lindestri and launched in 2016, providing an analytic system that uses “daily sales, streaming and airplay activity of albums, songs and artists.”

BuzzAngle’s data platform offers various options, including sorting by daily album and song sales and streaming activity, which can then be compartmentalized by market. In total, the platform’s methodology provides more than “10 trillion combinations of individualized reports,” ranging from song to label to distributor.



The Penske investment is expected to allow BuzzAngle to continue to grow as a company. 

In exchange, Penske will use those tools to mine and create content for Rolling StoneVarietyDeadline and IndieWire, including the creation of custom music charts for some verticals and the promotion of BuzzAngle’s charts across brands.

The partnership emerges at a time when data collection is a hotter topic than ever. How and where a company uses its data is coming under tougher scrutiny from the public. The occurrence of media companies combining their products with data-focused enterprises points to an obvious and greater desire by corporations to further capitalize on those numbers.  

However, BuzzAngle’s data won’t be used to target specific users of Penske products. Rather, its tools will be used to boost music data across brands. Key to the deal: While these tools are used to mine music data, they are not tools specific to that sort of data collection. Technology can always be re-calibrated or repurposed. 

With the passage of the GDPR and laws like Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act, which recently found Hearst Media in a court settlement a result, the application of user data will become a murkier prospect as the industry determines the best way forward. 

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