David Basskin
David Basskin

How Much Data Is Too Much Data About Nothing?

We missed the CMW Global Creators Summit but the latest Canadian Music Publishers newsletter patches us in on a debate about the value of Big Data and the extraordinary amount of detail that can be parsed from it.

Ever the contrarian, former CMRRA CEO and skilled legal mind David Basskin (now retired and hosting Stolen Moments Friday evenings on Jazz.FM91) suggested the torrents of data in fact dilute incomes and muddle performance benchmarks.

"One of the definitions of insanity is trying to do the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. The amount of data is unprecedented. The flow of information is unprecedented," Basskin stated, adding that "the money is shrinking.

"Doesn't this argue for, at a certain point, perhaps a cut-off at which it makes no economic sense to be devoting millions of dollars — and effort — in data processing to collect information about the tiniest performers. Isn't it time to think about moving to much more of a sampling regime and concentrating the efforts of publishers and societies on the songs that make money? All due respect to the songs that don't make money, but they don't power the business."

Leave a comment