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How Social Media is Affecting The Music Industry

Over time music has evolved in ways we could never imagine. From vinyl to cassette and CD to mp3 who knows what could be next? Social media has also played its part in how we share and experiment with music. The introduction of MySpace back in 2003 was the first world wide networking site for established and amateur artists to share their contribution to the music scene.

MySpace has since been pushed to one side to make way for other forms of social media. Facebook decided to branch out from personal profiles to specific pages for bands and other artists. On here they have the ability to share free downloads and deliver other information. It also allowed for new and unseen artists to promote themselves. But it’s not only Facebook that has added to the Internet music scene, Spotify and Sound Cloud pay their own contribution with ways to share the music you love without paying a penny, or recording your own ideas and sharing it with your followers.

Twitter has also played its own part in many ways, giving us an up-close and personal insight into the lives of famous bands and musicians. With a simple hashtag search we can find out who Harry from One Direction is talking about or who is talking about him. Twitter also gives artists a way to personally connect with their fans by retweeting, replying to them or both. This means that fans  feel more appreciated than ever, although being ignored by your favourite musician could leave you feeling down in the dumps (quite likely if they have millions of followers begging for a retweet!) 

It’s not just sound that has evolved through social media, but video too. YouTube provides a quick and easy way for aspiring musicians to upload their homemade music videos and possibly be the next viral sensation. It also provides a brilliant platform to see musicians performing live in concert. Smart phones make it instantly acceptable to record and upload your videos of a gig seconds after you’ve seen it. My personal favourite thing to watch is artists falling over whilst performing, Justin Bieber namely.

Despite all of the positivity that comes from being able to connect musically,  free digital downloads and free music streaming services have also had a negative impact. Less people are buying music the old fashioned way and in recent years we have witnessed the likes of Zavvi (previously known as Virgin Music Stores) and a select number of HMV stores disappear from our high streets.

From record player to boom box, iPod to iPhone who knows what could be in store for the music scene. Social media is making music more accessible than ever. How much longer will radio stations last? Will we see more unsigned artists grow into world wide phenomenons purely because of the way they use social media to their advantage? Probably.  Cheap, quick and accessible, the future of the Internet holds great potential for aspiring musicians.  

By Content Assistant – Astrid Hall  @Astrid_Hall

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