Listen Local

“Big data creates injustice.” – Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction

Our Listen Local project is aiming to create better radio playlisting, personal playlisting and concert promotion in a local context: within Slovakia or at a more specific level, Flanders or even the city of Utrecht or Budapest. We aim to place our partner’s music in local radio lists, personal playlists, and grow their fan base during the COVID-19 pandemic so that in 2021 they can eventually meet in the venues again, and carry out longer, more successful tours than ever.

Signing up for artists, labels, talent managers below.

What is the problem?

Most people are listening to music on Spotify or Apple Music, and at home on YouTube. They are following advice from algorithms tested on hundreds of millions of people. Anybody can create playlists, but mainly Spotify, Apple, or YouTube create the playlists with their AI algorithms and their staff and their interests.

Let’s Do This Together!

If you are an artist, you can simply fill in a form identifying your music on Spotify, filling in a few biographical data about yourself (or your band, ensemble, group). If you represent several artists as a talent manager, music publisher, record label, granting agency or music export office, please get in touch with us for onboarding.

We are aiming to create an alternative market measurement, marketing and recommendation engine tool that is based on open source software, open collaboration, full scientific transparency in an open collaboration with artists, small businesses and the entire music ecosystem.

  • create new playlists Let’s build up a weekly, relevant, non-exclusive playlists for music coming from Utrecht, Antwerpen, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Flanders or the Netherlands that smoothly blend in local music with relevant, spiritually or musically matching songs that fans of the Utrecht, Antwerpen, Rotterdam, Den Haag bands like.

  • create apps! If Forgetify can pick out songs that nobody, ever, ever listened to on Spotify, not even the performer’s mother, sister, friends, not even their enemies, than we can must create new apps that allows fans in Utrecht, visitors or Rotterdam and the virtual community of Den Haag to find relevant music, and to connect with music created in these communities.

  • We are a bunch of musicians, musicologists, music analysts, music journalists, producers who want to make this happen.

Data Use

  • From participating artists we only ask questions that they usually post on their websites or would tell to music journalists or bloggers. We will put all this information (with some clearly stated exceptions in the registration form) on the website of the experiment.

  • We will use similar data used to analyze this playlist about the participants’ music. This data is an analysis of their released music, not about the persons who play the music, or their earnings.

  • We do not ask for any financial data, and we do not have access to any financial data of the participants.


Listen Local and the Demo Music Observatory grew out of a large, collaborative project of collective management societies, grant managers, music distributors, venues, and other music stakeholders who joined forces to collect more royalties from 2014 onwards starting with three, and eventually encompassing more than a dozen countries.

  • The entire budget of our project is 10,000 euros, co-funded by the Slovak Arts Council, SOZA and Consolidated Independent, a distributor of independent music. We hope that this will be enough to create a demonstration and a detailed feasibility study that makes the user needs of Slovak managers, labels, publishers and artists themselves to continue this project in 2021. The project will be carried out by Reprex, a Dutch start-up co-founded by the author of the Slovak Music Industry Report, the first Hungarian Music Industry Report, Private Copying in Croatia, and the Central European Music Industry Report 2020.

  • Participation for artists and music venues is free in the experiment. In 2020, we would like to find a viable business model that keeps this tool a good value for money for anybody in the independent music scenes.

  • We are asking labels, publishers, talent managers to contribute to our experimental budget on a crowdsourcing basis at a later stage, if they will continue to use this service in 2021. Currently our experiment is free. Signing up for artists, labels, talent managers above.

Daniel Antal
Daniel Antal

My research interests include reproducible social science, economics and finance.