Grooveshark has just launched a brand new service tapping into the information they’ve gathered over the years giving insight into musical artists and their fanbase.

Beluga allows users to search for any artist in the Grooveshark database, giving some interesting tidbits of information on the kinds of people that listen to that music.

The data has been compiled based on “extensive market research”, surveying music fans – Grooveshark users are encouraged to participate in surveys in exchange for points which can be used to upgrade to a paid account on the site. The data has also been enhanced by tapping into the listening activity of Grooveshark’s 20 million monthly users worldwide

Market Reserach1 Grooveshark opens up its data with Beluga, offering insight into the listening habits of its usersInformation available about each artist’s fans, at first glance, includes demographics, geography, as well as highlight some of the interesting market research relating to that specific artist. In the case of Tori Amos fans for example, that includes the kinds of charities they donate to, whether or not they have tattoos and what music apps they have on their phone.

Beluga allows you to drill down further, with more information as far as market research is concerned – including details on listeners’ culture and lifestyle, socioeconomics, product affinity, and music habits.

Looking at fans of Tori Amos again, according to Beluga, they aren’t too keen on Facebook but you’ll find them hanging out on LiveJournal. Lady Gaga fans on the other hand, apparently are all about Bebo and won’t be caught anywhere near Flickr.

Of course the data should all be taken with a grain of salt. For every single artist we looked up, the dominant phone of choice was BlackBerry, often followed by iPhone, with Android trailing far behind. Something tells us that just doesn’t add up.

All the data provided can be exported to CSV files, and interestingly, access to Beluga is free and completely unrestricted. You don’t even have to register to delve into the lives and habits of Grooveshark music lovers.

Putting the data to good use

While it might be fun, and something of a novelty, to look up all of your favourite artists and see how you stack up against their other fans, there’s far more to Beluga than meets the eye.

For artists, Beluga offers a unique opportunity to find out more about their fans.

Geography Grooveshark opens up its data with Beluga, offering insight into the listening habits of its usersJosh Greenberg, Grooveshark Co-Founder and CTO highlights the possibilities, ”Any artist with music on Grooveshark can leverage Beluga’s revolutionary data to learn about their fans, route their tours, sell merchandise, work on building a following, and take their careers to the next level.”

Beluga is a marketer’s dream – overflowing with all sorts of data that will no doubt come in handy, making targeted advertising on Grooveshark, or possibly elsewhere, far easier.

Greenberg says, “Beluga opens doors for advertisers and brands to partner with artists who connect with their target audience, presenting endless opportunities. Best of all, we provide all of this market research information entirely for free.”

So while Grooveshark is keeping tabs on your listening habits, the site does stipulate that any information that is collected is completely anonymous. Its FAQ states:

When you listen to a song on Grooveshark, a log is stored anonymously, alongside billions of other logs from other users. These billions of logs are linked up to other things you’ve voluntarily told us about yourself, like your age when you registered or any survey responses. We use basic statistical techniques to find strong correlations in these log entries, take some extra steps to further anonymize the data, and feed it through to Beluga. The secret sauce is our enormous sample size of listeners.

With all of the lawsuits and legal problems Grooveshark is facing, we certainly hope that’s true.

In addition to launching Beluga, Grooveshark has also introduced, in private beta, a new artist-focused Grooveshark, which can be accessed here.
➤ Beluga