It is no secret that social media has influenced the music industry in a major way, but in this modern technology age, do we take these advances for granted?
Thinking about how much social media has helped us to connect with music news, it is hard to comprehend how so many underground bands were able to “make it big.” With true dedication, and an immense amount of work, bands used to promote themselves any way they possibly could. Creatively thinking of ways to gain publicity, bands had to work hard and know the industry well in order to get attention. There was no social media to announce releases, no services to stream or buy new music, and no websites to purchase show tickets from. Music lovers had to find ways of getting access to the latest music, and waited in line for hours in the hopes of getting a coveted ticket. This caused music to be a more social event, with people inviting one another over to listen to their latest vinyl or CD purchases, browsing music stores together, and making plans to go wait in line together (though some people still choose to do these things). Music brought people together, and in a way, social media has given us an option to either have music be a social or more of an individual experience.
In the past, people had to listen to the radio or visit a music shop to get the latest news on their favorite band, whereas now, we have access to all the information you could want with a click of a button. It is hard to imagine the amount of extra work that went into publicizing a show or a new release. Radio stations had to be contacted, posters had to be made, and the word had to be spread to as many people as possible. With this simplicity of social media, a band can send emails and post to various social media websites, reaching a much wider audience. Fans can then “share” the posts and spread the news, furthering the impact. Publicizing bands still takes extensive research and strategic planning, but social media has significantly helped to streamline the process. Much of the promoting can be done from online, and it helps to keep things much more organized.
Limewire and Myspace really helped to kick off band’s utilization of social media for publicity because they were able to post their music online and share it with anyone around the world. Limewire helped people download and gain exposure to new music that may have not been found in a local music shop. Myspace worked effectively as well because it helped bands to post releases, along with updates and tour information. Bands were able to directly talk to fans and answer any additional questions, promoting themselves as a band and their talents. From the era of MySpace, all the way to modern day, we have only been improving the way we reach audiences and have been able to learn what advertising techniques are and are not effective.
We should never take the power of social media for granted because even though it has changed the way we listen to and hear about music, it has connected music lovers on a deeper level. People from all over the world can connect and discuss their likes and dislikes in music, and can give suggestions for new bands to check out. This connection helps to have a huge influence on more underground bands as well, as their name can be shared with people around the world, rather than just those in their local area. Social media is (generally) free advertising. Anybody can create different accounts to display their talents and help spread the word. It is something that should be utilized by anybody who is looking to branch out and hopefully have his or her band recognized.
All in all, social media has created a bridge between music genres and has had so many positive effects that we nowadays tend to take advantage of. It has helped people of all ages to experience different styles of music that they would have not been able to access years ago, and that is a wonderful thing.