Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#157 - Guest Post: Changing the Music Industry One Click at a Time

By Brittany Jeter

Music is an integral part of society. It’s the one language that transcends all barriers. In the last several years, however, it has become the subject of scandalous publicity. First, we had the Napster fiasco, and then came file-sharing software and musicians complaining about lack of revenue
and poor album sales.

For musicians to make money today, they have to hit the road as often as possible. Ticket sales and merchandise sales…these are what allow musicians to actually succeed financially. Don’t get me wrong. iTunes is a good thing, but it’s been overshadowed by file-sharing through Frostwire and Limewire, among others.

It is predicted that within 3-5 years the CD will be obsolete. That's why so many artists are turning to social media, with their pages on Facebook, profiles on Tumblr and millions of personal websites where they can sell or allow downloads of their art. These sites have become the more cost-effective means of selling music. And, at these sites, you don’t have to worry about paying graphic designers for cover designs or printing and producing CD copies.

 It’s quite simple today to upload music. One click and there you have it. Your fans can download your music from their choice of sites. The money then goes either directly to the artist or to a third party who keeps tracks of it. In fact, more and more managers and artists are choosing to become part of an independent, rather than a major, label. They prefer the financial arrangements because they are much easier to track.

Look at the band, Foreigner, for example. Right now, it’s using this technique for VIP photos. The process uses a small card (about the size of an iTunes card) and on the back each purchaser gets a site address and code for downloading pictures. It’s more cost-effective in the long term.

Most artists today’s world are actually being “discovered” through social media.  Reverb-nation is just one of the social sites for musicians and managers. By simply uploading a biography, contact information and an artist’s music, any manager looking for a potential new act may find gold. Yes, the act has to possess real talent but it’s the representative’s job to check out that live show. My point is that it all started with social media.

Social media has come a long way from just someplace to connect with old friends. It’s growing daily and it’s helping the music industry get back on its feet. I hope it brings it back to the top of its game.

If you’re a consumer of music, then this affects you, too. Do you feel that using social media is helping the music industry regain its once illustrious status? Please let us hear from you in the comments section below.

Brittany Jeter is a Senior Public Relations major in the Journalism & Mass Communications Department at Murray State University. Jeter is passionate about music, film, the arts and how social media affects the entertainment industry. She plans to graduate in spring 2013 and pursue a career in Music Business/Public Relations. For more information contact:

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Great article! I think that "most" artists rely too heavily on social media at times because they forget about actually hitting the road and "touching" their fan base. On the other hand, this is a digital age and artists need to learn every aspect of "connecting" with people through the resources it offers. The problem is not knowing how to get people to their websites and not using enough of the available means to do so. Musicians have to be able to run with the best of the internet marketers out there. ESPECIALLY those who are not backed financially by a major label or other financial stream.