Saturday, February 19, 2011

Music Experience Part 2: Music Artists and Social Media

This is the second post of a 3 part series titled "Music Experience". This installment will focus on music artists and their use of Social Media.

To read part 1 of this series, navigate to Music Experience Part 1: Death of the Music Industry

So how do bands generate interest and support for their music? That's a great question that I believe can be answered in a variety of ways. But the best definition for that answer and the main thing that I can point my finger to, is social media. Today anybody can video tape their talents and upload it to YouTube for the whole WORLD to see. People can also use amazing online services like Facebook or Twitter to send messages and updates to all continents of the globe. And that is barely scratching the surface. Pretty much any type of Internet service comes packaged with some sort of social media to announce yourself and share with others. A band playing music in this day and age has to be broadcasting on these services or they will never be heard. Not because of their level of talent, but because there is just too much digital media to be consumed that's creating a buzz out there.

If I take a look at my own personal music collection that I have accumulated over just the past couple of years, almost half of the music comes from independent artists that you won't hear on the radio. I was very very surprised by that because I'm thinking to myself "How did this happen?". I live in the great rural state of landlocked Indiana. There are no live venues within comfortable driving distance and no local music influences besides the great John Mellencamp (Before my time). So what opportunities do I have to hear new music and become a fan? Two things: Free music streaming and free music downloads.

Make your music freely accessible. If you give me a Google search bar attached to an Internet connection I can find you 100GB of free music in one hour. If I then log on to Twitter I can quickly determine what is worth listening to out of that mass of music just purely by the buzz of people talking about it. If your music comes in some form of free (Stream or download), and your using social media, and you have some level of talent, people will discover your tunes and pass the word.

Now what is going to make a consumer want to invest their time and money into a band after they discover their music? For me, it's all about the experience, it's all about feeling connected to a band and the music they are making. If I'm digging some new tracks from this artist I've just heard for the first time, I'm going to have the urge to find out more about that artist. I can Google search them, find their bands website, discover that they are in studio making a new album and probably read their blog entries about the music production process. Or I can find out that a band is on tour in some foreign country and there is no way I will be able to catch a show but as a consolation I was able to find pictures taken from the concert on their band site and they also posted a live video clip from the concert on YouTube! (See below for one of my favorites)

Now that's connecting with your fans! I am a big fan of Ben Folds and I could have easily attended that concert, but I did not. Ben Folds reaches all of his fans worldwide with his own YouTube channel called BenFoldsTV.

So now I want to conclude this second installment with a question. What do the services like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, and Amazon all have in common besides the fact that they are excellent services to reach music fans? Answer: They have all been around for a while! It is great that music artists are using these services to their full potential to reach fans, but what is coming next? Read about some exciting new Internet services that are changing the music industry on my next post. Music Experience Part 3: Exciting New Services

To read part 1 of this series, navigate to Music Experience Part 1: Death of the Music Industry


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