New venture to mine Twitter data to find music’s next big thing

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NEW YORK — For the music business, Twitter holds a vast haystack of data with no easy way to find the most valuable needles — like which acts are attracting the most attention and where.

To help find them, Twitter has turned to 300, a new company started by Lyor Cohen, one of music’s biggest power brokers. Cohen announced the partnership Sunday at Midem, an annual music industry conference in Cannes, France.

“There was a time not so long ago when we sold music to retailers and they sold to fans, but nobody knew who those fans were,” said Cohen, 54, who started as a hip-hop promoter in the 1980s and rose to top posts at Island Def Jam and Warner Music Group. “I’ve spent most of my life not knowing who the customer is. Isn’t that a shame?”

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