Request for Proposals: Help us build a New Music Dashboard

Deadline for proposals: Noon, Thursday 25th January 2018
Produced by: 
Sound and Music


The New Music Dashboard is an initiative driven and funded by Sound and Music, with the support of the national New Music Cluster.

Sound and Music believes that the New Music Dashboard will transform how those involved in the programming, marketing and distribution of new music share their understanding of audiences - in their own areas and across the country. For organisations, creators and producers, this collaborative insight will inform decision-making and have a lasting, positive impact on the new music ecology.

The New Music Dashboard will transform how ‘we’ collectively develop sustainable approaches and methods to engaging and enriching the cultural experience of audience members, both now and for the future. Over time, Sound and Music believes that this is the single best chance of growing and diversifying audiences, and significantly increasing public engagement with and the appreciation of new music in the UK.

This is an unprecedented and unique opportunity.

 As outlined in the New Music Manifesto proposed by Sound and Music:

“We all need and want to know more about our audiences. We want to know more about their motivations and behaviours, their perceptions and potential barriers. We want to grow them, diversify them, engage with them and introduce them to the innovative, exciting, impactful, challenging and unique new music being created across the UK today. We want composers, artists, producers, musicians, ensembles, collectives and organisations to be embedded into cultural discourse, to be a part of the conversation and to be celebrated.”

Members of the New Music Cluster include: 

Sound and Music
NMC Recordings
Riot Ensemble
BCMG – Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
CoMA Festival – Contemporary Music for All
Bastard Assignments
London Sinfonietta
Creative People and Places

Sound and Music refers to this development as a ‘dashboard’ which will essentially be an online platform that brings together information and insight into a living, breathing and accessible resource, through varying forms of data aggregation and visualisation.

Deadline for proposals: Noon, Thursday 25th January 2018

Current challenges

Currently there are a number of key obstacles and collective challenges for the sector in achieving the ambitions outlined above.

They include:

  • Limited centralised, national and openly accessible data about audiences for new music in the UK
  • Current data sets (including Audience Finder) do not sufficiently break down 'Music' categories, or take into account the nuances, variety and breadth of music being created today

  • Current data sets often exclude producers outside larger organisations and are weighted towards venues with box office systems, excluding smaller scale producers, free events, DIY events and other non-institutionalised forms of activity

  • Current data sets often exclude digital audiences and consumers, favouring and placing emphasis on physical event attendees and in particular paid ticketed events via a box office. This does not adequately represent the engagement of audiences for new music, or contemporary and growing trends in consumption

  • Current data sets are limited and patchy, and what is captured sits within siloed organisations and/or data systems, with little ability for wider impact and/or collaborative intervention

All of the above means that, as organisations and as a wider sector, we are limited in our ability to support or advise those creating new music, including composers, other creators and producers. Consequently, this also limits our capacity to enhance the profile and visibility of new music activity – of which there is much nationally.

In order to give a true picture of current audiences and consumer behaviour, we must begin to address the challenges above and to capture and use data more effectively across the sector.

This in turn will begin to create a shared, more representative and richer picture for all those who wish to present new music to contemporary audiences.

As the national charity for new music in the UK, this is a priority for Sound and Music and for the sustainability of those creating it.

From the New Music Manifesto:

“Collectively we can address common challenges, learn and support each other, and develop new systems and processes that have a sustainable sector-wide benefit and impact. Together we can create truly memorable experiences and lasting relationships.

Individually we continue to try and ‘re-invent the wheel’, duplicating work, exhausting energies and alienating audiences. Alone we learn little and together we can learn more.”

About the New Music Cluster

Sound and Music has begun to lead a collaborative conversation through the reinstatement of the national New Music Cluster, with a number of partners including fellow National Portfolio Organisations, DIY artist-producers, commercial venues and composers, in order to explore and develop a new approach to audience data capture and insight.

This group forms the heart of a newly formed steering group which has three simple aims:

  • To work together, to gather data and share information about audiences for new music

  • To work together, to review the insight shared and to make recommendations about future approaches to new music including programming, marketing and presentation

  • To work together, to develop and trial new initiatives and approaches for the greater good, the future health and sustainability of new music; including reviewing language and accessibility

About the New Music Dashboard

Across the New Music Cluster most members are already collecting or have access to quantities of data, through varying and individual methods.

Some of these data collection methods include:

  • Box office systems
  • Online ticketing platforms
  • Audience surveys – live and digital
  • Digital analytics
  • Subscribers analytics

By building on individual experience and successes to date, Sound and Music will with the support of the New Music Cluster develop a new system and new methodologies for collecting and sharing data, which will ultimately take the proposed form of a New Music Dashboard.

Aims of the New Music Dashboard

  • To show a national picture of new music audiences from across the UK
  • To give insight into region, city and town specific audience attendance and behaviour
  • To present 'real time' data in a visually engaging and easily accessible manner
  • To be (wherever possible) automated, and to minimise barriers for those contributing data (including lack of time and lack of knowledge)
  • To collate and enable analysis of data for wider commentary, campaigning and developments
  • To safely store and comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • To align and equally value digital audiences alongside physical event attendees
  • To bring together creators and organisations from across the sector to collaborate in the development, growth and analysis of audiences
  • To support organisations, composers, artists, producers and curators in decision making, whether inside or outside of an organisational context
  • To give users guidance and support on data capture methods, including identifying what data to capture and providing accompanying templates and resources
  • To highlight the importance of shared insight for the growth and sustainability of new music, and support the acquisition of necessary knowledge, skills and funding
  • To support and complement existing national requirements and cultural data sets including the Audience Agency's Audience Finder 

    Proposal Requirements:   

To find out more about this project, download the full brief here >>

Read the New Music Manifesto here >>

Deadline for proposals: Noon, Thursday 25th January 2018

Proposals should be submitted via email to:

Sound and Music’s Head of Digital, Marketing and Communications:

Fee for this project £15,000 inclusive of VAT 

To find out more about this project, download the full brief here >>

Read the New Music Manifesto here >>

Deadline for proposals: Noon, Thursday 25th January 2018


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