How we connect with our favorite artists and their music today is so vastly different than how our parents and grandparents connected with artist in “their day”. Just 25 years ago, if you wanted to listen to music by your favorite musician or band your would have to go to the store, buy the artist’s record or tape and then play that record or tape on your tape or record player. Today going to a store to purchase music is almost unimaginable and actually playing music via a cd player is unheard of. If you think about it most kids between the ages of 10 and 15 have probably never bought a cd in their entire lives! How crazy is that!!!
How we listen to and consume music has changed so much over the years due in large part to emerging media and technological advances like the rise of social media, the growth of file sharing sites and the explosion of music streaming sites like Spotify and Pandora. Via social media sites, people can keep tabs on their favorite artist, find out about upcoming albums, listen to “unofficially released” music, and purchase tickets to upcoming concerts. How we connect with music has gone completely digital!
Not only have these new technologies changed how we listen and connect to music and musicians but they have revolutionized how music is shared and marketed. Instead of relying on publicity tours, promotional appearances and record label backed advertisements, artists both famous and unknown can virtually promote their music without ever leaving their house! Just think about all of the famous musicals that became famous off of their YouTube videos. Because of emerging media, musical content is easier to get, more easily disseminated and more readily available.
While emerging media has impacted the music industry in innumerable ways, below are three of the most significant ways that I think emerging media has impacted the music industry.
The Rise of the IoT (Internet of Things)
The Internet of Things refers to the connection between physical products and internet. How does this affect the music industry you ask? Image you purchase tickets to a concert and the tickets are linked to one of your social media accounts. Then imagine that when you arrive at the music festival you are given a wrist band that is also linked to your social media account(s). Now imagine that while you are at the festival, every time you pass a “check-in station” that is located near a stage where a band is playing your wristband updates your social media site’s status and lets your followers know what band your are listening to at the moment. Sounds kind of cool and futuristic right? Well this currently is being used at music festivals all around the world. Not only does keep festival goers connect to their social media followers but it also works to promote the music and artist in attendance at the festival.
Increased Ease of Self-Promotion via Social Media
If you were a new artist back in the day trying to make it big, becoming famous would have almost been impossible without the backing of a large and powerful record company. Today relatively unknown artist can garner large and loyal followers through self-promotion. Using social media sites and file sharing services artists can spread their music all around the world with only a few clicks. Social media is perhaps the best tool unknown musicians have to promote themselves and their music. According to The DIY Musician, there are 10 social media rules artists must following in order promote themselves and their music. I think by far three of the most important rules listed are:
Make sure your website in socially friendly
Have a conversation with followers/Engage with followers and fans.
Rise of Mobile Adoption
Today we can listen to music anywhere, at any time and on any device. Don’t have your favorite cd in the car, simply stream them music from your phone to your car’s stereo’s system. At the beach and in need of some music, play the latest releases from your tablet or phone. There is literally no mobile device on the market today that cannot play music. Not to mention there are tons of music apps (applications) available to mobile users. In 2012, over 429 million dollars were made off of mobile apps. Mobile apps and music streaming via mobile devices and made music portable and easily sharable. Not to mention they have created a new advertising outlet for artists and record companies. While in the past advertisements were limited to print publications and t.v, advertisements can now be placed on mobile apps and on mobile music sharing services.
In your opinion what are the top three ways in which emerging media has impacted the music industry (the creation, dissemination and promotion of music)?