A Use Case for SAP Business Technology Platform: Intelligent Music Chart Prediction

Julia Jakob
Experience Matters
Published in
5 min readMar 30, 2021

Written by Svenja Müller and Julia Jakob

The SAP AppHaus and Platform Adoption & Advisory expert teams of designers and developers jointly built a working algorithm-based prototype to predict future music hits. With the help of SAP Business Technology Platform and artificial intelligence (AI), this proof of concept has the potential to generate a market advantage for music labels in the industry.

In today’s interconnected world, it is important to maintain intercultural exchange while also exploring one’s own identity and cultural belonging. One way to do so is through music. As part of our daily life, music functions as a creative outlet and an expression of identity and emotional state. Different genres and music styles are part of society’s historical heritage, reflecting certain eras and communities. Additionally, music facilitates exchange between cultural groups. As music does not stop developing, trend scouting and early discovery of potential hits play an important role in the music industry.

In the wake of digitalization, streaming platforms have become major players, and, especially for music labels, the business with recording contracts and the commercialization of artists booms. Songs play and will continue to play a crucial role in people’s lives and in society as they accompany individuals and communities alike through different situations. Consequently, the demand for new music continues to remain high.
A major hurdle though, that trend scouters come across when evaluating hit potential, is the role of emotions and individual taste. The challenge is to turn emotional data and seemingly unmeasurable, intangible feelings towards a song or genre into real value and data. The question arises how to quantify the connection between data and emotions to predict future hits.

Opportunities in the Music Industry

SAP detected this connection between public data expressing personal taste and future hits, and the potential to generate real value for the music industry. To investigate more on the topic, the SAP AppHaus and SAP’s Platform Adoption & Advisory teams collaborated in building an algorithm-based prototype to predict future hits.

„In this project I experienced that the data we produce in every millisecond is not only data. If we discover it, it shows us the beauty of our feelings and emotions.”
Thomas Biedermann, Strategic Design Consultant, SAP AppHaus Heidelberg

To bridge the gap between emotions and data, SAP Business Technology Platform provides a solid baseline and enables the value production across different data sources.

Infinite Possibilities with SAP Business Technology Platform

Over the years, most global enterprises have built up complex IT landscapes, combining on-premise and cloud solutions in hybrid scenarios across different platforms and technologies. In parallel, data sources and volumes continue to grow, thus leading to more complex analytical processes and requirements to enable companies to make intelligent decisions. So, it comes as no surprise that many companies today strive for holistically integrated business processes across seamlessly integrated software solutions. And this direction holds also true in the entertainment industry.

To enable customers to reach this goal and fully leverage their data and insights, SAP provides customers with a solid and future-oriented basis, SAP Business Technology Platform that consists of four pillars:

  1. Database & Data Management
  2. Analytics
  3. Application Development & Integration
  4. Intelligent Technologies.
SAP Business Technology Platform in the context of Enterprise Architecture

Leveraging SAP Business Technology Platform as a basis for this music industry use case, the mixed project team used public live data to create a working prototype with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Under the project name “SAP Music Voyager”, the team developed algorithms to detect trend patterns in vast collections of data extracted from social media and streaming platforms.

Bringing SAP Music Voyager to Life

SAP Business Technology Platform combines the available technologies in four key categories and the SAP Music Voyager can be operated on services from all categories:

Under the pillar Database & Data Management, SAP Integration Suite and SAP Extension Suite can support the storage, processing, management and interpretation of data from different music streaming and social media platforms.

In the second pillar Analytics, this data is then analyzed using predictive analysis to generate a list of new charts, fast climbers and possible future hits. Through forecasting functionalities, the music industry can become truly insight-driven and monitor how a song performs in different countries and regions at the same time.

Adding business value to the company, the third pillar Application Development & Integration supports the implementation of extensions and applications which ensures that the prototype is functional and working.

The most prominent added value in this use case is the application of Intelligent Technologies, namely AI and ML. The prototype’s user interface therefore provides users with a chatbot and voice assistant, both powered by ML, and can play specific requested songs and answer questions about music and chart lists.

SAP Music Voyager user interface

Heading towards an Intelligent Music Business

This use case example, developed in collaboration of the SAP AppHaus and Platform Adoption & Advisory teams, can enable companies in the music industry to predict future trends and international chart hits by turning publicly accessible data from streaming and social media platforms into real value. This also makes it possible for music labels to contact artists earlier than others and negotiate deals through which they can gain a significant competitive advantage.

„SAP Business Technology Platform was very useful in this project, starting with the collection of external data from public sources, integrating and cleansing the incoming data inside SAP HANA database and utilizing the available machine learning capabilities, we could quickly build the necessary core of the application. The available connectivity from SAP BTP into backend systems would easily allow to further link the predictions of upcoming hits to the financial background, thus the business world.”
Adi Pleyer, Development & Project Manager, SAP Platform Adoption & Advisory

This is just one example of how SAP Business Technology Platform can help companies on their way to become an Intelligent Enterprise in today’s fast-changing business environments. The predictive capabilities of the platform outlined in this use case could serve as a starting point for interesting co-innovation projects. They have the potential to help the music industry get closer to unpredictable sentiments of music fans, listeners and markets.

Thank you Thomas Biedermann for the great insights!

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Julia Jakob
Experience Matters

Working Student Communications at SAP AppHaus Heidelberg