It’s no secret that since the music industry has become heavily altered by the digital age, the internet has in some ways been a blessing and a curse for the business. For example social media outlets have allowed music labels and artists to connect and reach audiences in an era in which traditional routes of radio, TV and print are having limited effect. However copyrighting issues and illegal downloads have plagued the industry.
Social media platforms are providing artists and labels with interesting opportunities to share their music and create a more personal connection with fans. Here is a look at 3 social media platforms that are helping the music industry…
The pop charts today are littered with artists that have been discovered via YouTube, for example Justin Bieber and Conor Maynard are prodigies of the video sharing platform. Viral videos have made stars of many musicians; YouTube has the potential for such mass responses, especially when paired with unique videos. For example videos from Psy, Baauer (of Harlem Shake Fame) and Macklemore have led to chart-topping success. To a large extent YouTube is replacing Industry showcases and the role of A&R – the division of a record label that is responsible for talent scouting.
Moreover music labels are becoming wiser as to how to use YouTube and how to uphold copyright laws on the site. A new deal with Universal Music Publishing Group means that music/videos shared solely in the UK and America will be played on the social media website in 127 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The new agreement includes all types of YouTube videos that feature music, including user-generated content.
YouTube’s new partnership with Universal also protects the industries copyrighted material to a certain extent as YouTube’s new uploading policies and process includes software that automatically flags copyrighted material on the site.
The core aim of MySpace as a platform is to provide the user with a music-centric experience. At the height of its influence popular bands such Panic! At the Disco were signed to a music label off the back of their MySpace profile.
The redesigned MySpace opened to the public earlier this year, and is now both a social network and a hub for music destination. It is still too early to judge whether or not the redesign has been successful; however MySpace as a platform is largely responsible for the change in the way the public interact with artists. MySpace unlike other social media platforms does not distinguish between whether your friendship with a profile is with a person or a band. This allowed for fans and artists to interact between each other.
Looking into the future, Twitter is in the midst of releasing a music-specific app using technology from music discovery app We Are Hunted. Whilst so far Twitter has largely been used as a way for artists to interact with fans, the micro-blogging platform is making its way into music. Not only will the app encompass aspects of We are Hunted, Twitter has also reportedly struck a deal with Vevo in which Vevo’s content will be offered via the social network’s music app. This development will provide yet another way for people to discover and share music.
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