music industry

Technology and Social media: The Good and Bad for the Music Industry

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Talk to some of the ‘oldies’ who have made it to the top of the music industry. They will regale you with riveting stories of how they started.

Getting into a studio session with music producers was an uphill task. Marketing and distribution required physical handing out of CDs to the right people. Some would wait for promoters and ‘ambush’ them with copies.

The other option was to hand out their music to media houses or club DJs. And getting visibility was even harder. It was a struggle because money determined everything. Major controlling labels like Sony, Universal, and MCA ruled the industry.

But, technological solutions were a welcome relief for many. The digitalization of music made it easy to get content to the masses. All you needed was the right equipment like a laptop and the relevant software. Social media platforms give access to broad audience bases.

Our article explores THE technology and social media impact in the music industry. We will look at both sides of the coin to uncover the advantages and disadvantages.

Exploring the Positive Contribution of Technology and Social Media

Let us look at some of the advantages of technology and social media in the music industry.

  • Tons of Avenues for Exposure

Technology and social media have opened up tons of avenues for exposure for artists. Promoting and advertising your music is easy on free music platforms for artists. There is better connectivity and engagement with audiences.

The platforms bring the artist’s closer to the fans through interactions. It allows for flexibility because the artists have more control over the content. Think about it much like taking the power away from producers and giving it back to the creatives.

  • Free Music Promotion

Free music promotion platforms increase collaboration and exposure for independent artists. It provides an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals. There is access to music producers, emcees, vocalists, and songwriters. 

Such promotion platforms give emerging artists a leg up in the industry. Social media platforms provide exposure without limitation on the channels.

  • Greater Control for Artists Through Digitalization 

All you need to produce tracks is a computer and the right software. Internet connectivity gives you the vehicle to get your music to the audience. Gone are the restraints of lack of enough money.

Music uploading sites are plentiful, and some are free. All an artist needs to do is search for free uploading music websites, or how to get your music heard for free. You will get back tons of platforms in the results. Such include YouTube, Google, SoundCloud, and Spotify. The same opportunities are plentiful on social media platforms. 

For audiences, the process is the same. Simply type in ‘where to download music for free.

  • Access to Different Genres

Music streaming platforms focus on good music rather than a specific genre. AI technologies like machine learning will recommend music based on past consumption.

For independent or emerging artists, it is a chance to break through the ceiling. An opportunity that may not have been available in the analog era.

  • Opportunity for Innovation

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, it hit many industries hard. In the music industry, event cancellation became the order of the day. Artists who depend on such performances saw income streams dry up.

But, the industry bounced back through innovative technological solutions. Take the example of virtual concerts that use immersive technologies. Millions of fans have tuned in to such, right from the comfort of their living rooms.

Online music battles like Verzuz on Instagram brought musical legends back.

  • Potential for Higher Earnings for Artists

Sad stories abound of artists who were so popular then eventually became broke. Toni Braxton had to file for bankruptcy twice because of a bad contract with Laface records.

TLC, New Edition, and Michael Jackson are other famous names that saw the dark side of the music industry. The record labels were making money. But, the artists got much less than they deserved.

Technology brought back some semblance of order to the industry. Musicians earn royalties from streaming platforms. Better exposure means they can increase revenue streams with the right tactics.

By removing the high costs associated with music production, artists save. And, social media platforms provide a fantastic place to sell merchandise. The artist gets an extra source of income.

Uncovering the Negative Side of Technology and Social Media on the Music Industry

There is a dark side to technology and social media. You may agree or disagree with some, depending on how you look at them.

  • Loss of Creativity

Some of the older generations may feel that there is less creativity amongst artists. AI-powered software, for instance, can compose tracks.

Artists don’t need to learn some of the basics because there is a program that can do it for them.

  • Less Control Over Content

This may sound funny knowing that we highlighted content control as an advantage. But, think about fans downloading music from streaming platforms or social media. They can share it as much as they want.

That means zero revenue for the artist. Creatives depend on the philanthropic side of fans to buy rather than access free music.

This is unlike analog days. Musicians would make sales from the number of records they managed to sell.

  • Greater Stress for Artists

The only way to achieve traction on platforms like social media is to be present. The artist must engage and interact with the audience.

If you don’t have a team managing the platforms, you will fade into oblivion. The creative’s must fend for themselves to get visibility amongst the masses.

In the past, record labels would have promotional budgets. They would also arrange events and PR opportunities. Now, the digital space has increased competition. Every artist has access to the same free music marketing platforms and opportunities.

Without the right marketing strategies, emerging artists will still struggle. It can be tough to create awareness among audiences.

Final Thoughts

The music industry has come a long way from the analog days. Technology has allowed for the digitalization of music. It has removed the limitations of prohibitive costs record labels charge musicians.

Now emerging and independent artists can fight for listenership with the established ones. AI Technologies has introduced the concept of ‘good music.’

It does not matter who the musician is, or what genre. Rather, it is about what a listener gravitates to. 

Free music promotion platforms help with advertising and pushing content to listeners. Social media platforms give access to broad audience bases. There are also tons of opportunities to get visibility.

Of course, there is the other side of the argument as we have shared. But, technology and social media are here to stay. Industry players must find a way to maximize the potential therein.

Also Read: 5 Facts About Fashion Psychology



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