Radar Report 2023: Case study The Haunted Youth


Have you ever wondered how artists experience making it big in a flash?

The Haunted Youth live at ESNS23 by Ben Houdijk

When entering the music industry, artists can take different approaches to get their music and name out there. This article presents how ESNS Analytics can help you discover which strategies can be a road to success. As part of a case study for the Music Business minor at NHL Stenden, we used ESNS Analytics to demonstrate three successful strategies that artists can adopt in the upcoming editions of ESNS—to get more out of their showcases and ensure the most growth. We examine The Haunted Youth as a case study; to understand how the band became the most booked ESNS Exchange act of 2023, with a remarkable 13 shows at ESNS Exchange Festivals.

By Christie Das, Marie Däumling, Ilse Jonker
(Minor Music Business at NHL/Stenden University of Applied Sciences)

Preparation is key
A strategic preparation for a showcase at ESNS can be all-important for an artist to break international borders. With over 300 acts performing every year, it is of great importance to establish a strategy for the artist to stand out from the crowd. The Haunted Youth employed a strategy in the build up to ESNS 2022 that showcased their promise—one that is further amplified through their showcase at ESNS 2023 and MME Awards nomination. The ESNS Analytics follower insights reveal a steady increase in Spotify followers for The Haunted Youth with significant increases around November 2021 and 2022. In December 2021, they announced their performance at ESNS 2022 and released their single ‘Gone’, resulting in a spike in followers. Looking further down the line, we also see a significant increase around November 2022, the month they released their debut album Dawn of the Freak

GEO Data
Specific geographical data makes it easier to pinpoint where success is coming from and transform that into opportunities. The GEO data made available in ESNS Analytics gives professionals insights that allow for a more targeted networking approach at the conference. The Haunted Youth’s Spotify listeners are centered in Belgium (44.8%) and the Netherlands (41.7%); the ESNS Analytics data on the Instagram, Airplay, and YouTube tabs further supports the claim that their followers are concentrated in these countries. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the majority of the ESNS Exchange Festivals that booked the Haunted Youth were in these two countries. In 2023, The Haunted Youth performed at Lowlands and Pinkpop in the Netherlands and Rock Werchter, Cactus Festival and Les Nuits Botanique in Belgium. Using GEO data can help form a live strategy by tracking the location of your main Spotify listeners and booking shows that are centered in those areas.

By offering clear insight into the location of established and potential fanbases, ESNS Analytics can quickly and efficiently help professionals further support the artist’s growth. For The Haunted Youth, we used GEO data to examine possible opportunities to expand their following internationally in the future and found potential in Germany and France. These countries show support in shows (Orange Blossom Special, c/o pop Festival, Maifield Derby, Eurockéennes de Belfort), airplay and followers.

Use ESNS Analytics data to keep the ball of success rolling ESNS Analytics can also be used to validate strategies. The initial insights we shared revolved around preparation. Utilizing data can help you to understand how successful artists keep momentum going and support your own strategic decisions. After playing ESNS 2023, we see four spikes in The Haunted Youth’s Spotify followers, which we believe leads back to their showcase at ESNS.

While ESNS Analytics’s live data centers on ESNS Exchange Festivals – the 126 festivals with which ESNS has partnered with – it is good to mention that The Haunted Youth’s success is not limited to these festivals. The ESNS Analytics data does, however, show us the impact of ESNS Exchange Festivals on the follower and listener base. The zoom function in ESNS Analytics shows detailed analysis of the increase in followers. We zoomed in on and pinpoint to specific moments in time that confirm the success of actions mainly in Belgium and the Netherlands. Through ESNS Analytics data, artists can see how they keep their momentum up after playing ESNS by cross-promoting.

We used the case of The Haunted Youth to understand strategies that professionals take to create sustained growth for artists. We argue that using ESNS Analytics to analyze artist strategies can allow you to discover patterns to apply to your artists. While we discovered that playing at ESNS paves the way for an artist to get noticed by the industry and audiences, artists still need to push to broaden those options. This case study recommends using the data provided by ESNS Analytics and your network to expand an artist’s success. To conclude, the ESNS Analytics platform helps to pinpoint opportunities, validate strategies and build towards sustained growth and international opportunities for artists throughout Europe