This thesis investigates to what extent pre-release attention for techno songs and popularity of artists in online communities can predict post-release success of songs on Spotify and Beatport. Before a song is released, it is difficult to estimate whether the audience will appreciate it or not. Gatekeepers and certifiers take a central role in the music industry because they decide whether the value of music is high enough to cover investment in the product. Since the digitization of music and emergence of social media, culture, and music in specific, is increasingly taking place online. This resulted in an enormous amount of data regarding preferences of the audience and popularity of artists. An extensive amount of these data is generated in online music communities and provides us with information about audience attention for songs before release. The focus of this thesis lies on the attention for unreleased techno songs in the online Facebook-community Raad de Plaat. In this community, recordings of unreleased songs at events are uploaded by members in order to identify the artist and title. The research question of this study is to what extent attention for songs in the online Facebook-community Raad de Plaat and the popularity of the artist on Facebook can predict success of songs after release. Success on Spotify is defined as number of plays per day. The success on Beatport is measured by a songs peak position in the charts and number of days in the charts. A quantitative content analysis is performed in which there is controlled for musical characteristics and the popularity of the DJ that plays the unreleased song. In the results, different models are presented in order to answer the research question. The research showed that attention for unreleased songs in Raad de Plaat significantly predicts the success on Spotify after release to some extent. When taking the popularity of the artist on Facebook into account, a majority of the success of songs can be predicted before release. For predicting success on Beatport, attention on Raad de Plaat is not a significant predictor when controlling for musical characteristics. The popularity of the artist on Facebook however, is in all models a significant predictor for success on Beatport and Spotify. When online communities enable the audience to collectively value songs before release, their practice is similar to the practice of certifiers and gatekeepers and this may have implications for the organization and structure of the music industry

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cultural Economics, Cultural Entrepreneurship, Electronic Music, Online Communities, Uncertainty, Gatekeepers, Economics of Attention
Thesis Advisor Christian Wolfgang Handke
Persistent URL
Series Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship , Master Arts, Culture & Society
Boris Gunst. (2018, June 21). THE AUDIENCE AS GATEKEEPER - Attention for unreleased techno music in online communities as indicators for post-release success. Master Arts, Culture & Society. Retrieved from