The Internet is changing everything about how we live our lives. One of the biggest hits was to the music industry. Album sales dropped. Napster sued Metallica yet torrents today stream through the airwaves like rushing snow melt in the spring. But doesn’t art thrive on challenges just like this? Hasn’t this disconnection from major music labels brought musicians back to the beginning where it was just a musician and his or her craft/instrument?
Getting Back On Stage
You cannot argue with the fact that album sales have dropped and record labels and recording studios have suffered, but the same scissors that cut the strings of these industries have also helped to free independent artists from the complicated net of breaking into “the industry.” No longer does a musician need to get a record label to become famous. Justin Bieber may be the best example of this. A record producer who sought him out immediately discovered Bieber online. Bieber, now one of the most famous pop stars worldwide, also owes his early popularity to YouTube and social media in which his fans could play his music any time they wanted. Another artist who has taken advantage of the independence afforded by the Internet is Lady Gaga.
Responding To Fans
Social media has opened a channel for consumers to speak directly to just about any anybody online listening. Lady Gaga and other female pop singers such as Katy Perry, Beyonce and Adele have bolstered their fan base by responding directly to their fans through social media.
New Forms Of Promotion And Exposure
Myspace, the precursor to the now dominant force Facebook, has reinvented itself into a social platform for emerging musicians to gain exposure. One site that rivals Myspace is Soundcloud, which focuses less on videos but plays tracks and mixes from DJ’s. It’s an open forum where musicians can share, promote and discuss music from around the world. The Internet and more specifically social media have broken down the gates record producers had built to guard their most precious commodities.
The Musician In The Tower
The Internet has helped to weaken record labels’ control over artists and has stirred a renaissance of touring and independent promotion. Female pop singers of today are providing themselves with opportunities. Grimes, a Canadian pop singer, is one example. She produced and recorded her breakout album, Visions, alone in her apartment on Apple’s GarageBand over a three-week period. Her name, she sites, came from the music genre “Grime” she discovered on Myspace. She is now represented by Jay-Z’s record label and is up there with names like Gaga and Adele. She represents a different kind of artist locked in a tower; one that is there by choice and shares their work over Wi-Fi.
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