A while back I wrote a few words about how I felt social media and its power has changed the Music Industry, that I felt Social Media had changed 4 factors; Artist Awareness & Promotion, Fan Interaction, Discovery and even Creativity. Since writing that blog, I have been wondering where social media will take the music industry – it’s clear that it has already had a dramatic effect, but will it continue to change the industry or has it reached its peak?
Well, no… As of the end of 2017, the world population was 7.5 billion, and active Social Media users stood at 3.1 billion, roughly a 400 million increase at the end of 2016. So, it’s clear that Social Media hasn’t stopped evolving and won’t stop, which is great, right? Well, maybe. Without further ado, here are a few ways in which I think Social Media could change the music industry even more than it already has.
The way new musicians and artists can be found at the moment is amazing, you can easily scroll through social media and find someone plugging their own music to the world. But how will this evolve further? I think the evolution of social media will help the rise of new music by being more ‘in the moment’. Mark Zuckerberg CEO of the world (Facebook) is always going on about wanting Facebook to be about “meaningful social interactions”, but Facebook is basically just a landing page for memes and aunties commenting on everything. However, in the future, I think Facebook and Instagram could be the forefront of discovering new musicians through more live videos and an algorithm that influences people to be listening to and watching more music videos of amazing artists that all your friends are listening to.
Facebook added its new feature ‘Watch Party’ about 5 months ago, though it hasn’t quite taken off. But what if ‘Watch Party’ was tailored for musicians and live concerts? Persuading me to join in and watch a new band on the other side of the world create new music in their garage is something I could get on board with!
The previous point leads nicely on to how we interact with musicians in the future. Getting a retweet or a like from a musician wasn’t a possibility 10 years ago, but now with artists so active on Social Media, it’s a part of the artist giving back to the fans. But, how will this evolve? I think fan interaction will increase 10-fold, with social media making it even easier for artists to interact with fans by possibly making it easy to reply to messages and answer questions from fans.
Will Social Media continue to change the creative aspect of the industry? Possibly. Maybe Social Media will change the way we consume new music rather than the way music is created. I see marketing campaigns getting increasingly clever and, possibly, even more subtle. My absolute favourite marketing campaign was created by a French company called Addict Aide – it was an Instagram campaign about alcoholism amongst women in France, and whilst this isn’t relevant to music, the idea of the campaign is something I would love to see in music.
Currently, I think that social media plays a huge part in creativity for artists as they not only use it for inspiration, but also for gaining feedback from fans. Deadmau5 has been live streaming for years and continues to show fans what new music he is making, and thousands of people tune in just to watch him create something completely new or even mess around with new sounds. I think this is something we can expect to see way more of; a deeper insight into our favourite artists creating new material allowing us to feel even more connected to our musical idols.
Social Media has already had a massive impact on the way new music and new artists are discovered (Stormzy is still a prime example of this). It’s very hard to see what more Social Media could do to contribute to the rise of new talent, but here is my prediction; Dedicated social platforms just for new music – these already exist through streaming sites such as Soundcloud and Bandcamp, but these are more focused on the music rather than a social aspect. I predict something of a crossover between Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud. New social media platforms are so difficult to create and gather a following so I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook made a platform like this, a place for people to hang out and discover new music together.
Social Media has changed a lot in the music industry. Though could be seen as a negative for some elements of the industry, like the decline of record stores, it’s had a positive effect on so many other areas and I personally am excited to see what the future of Social Media brings to the world of music.