Saturday, 9 May 2009

My Space, Arctic Monkeys and Contemporary Trends in Music Consumption

Patrick Goldstein, writing in Sunday’s LA Times suggests that our elite, top-down culture is now being supplanted by a “raucous, participatory bottom-up culture in which amateur entertainment has more appeal than critically
endorsed skill and expertise”
. “The era”, he says, “when studios, networks and record companies were tastemakers is long gone. Ask kids today where good music comes from and they’ll say iTunes or, not Warner Music. The best brands are being built from the bottom up”. Goldstein’s view is echoed by Rupert Murdoch, who last year paid $580 million for the site, saying “Young people don’t want to rely on a Godlike figure from above to tell them what’s
important…They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it”.

Like it or not, MySpace is a promotional tool that musicians, especially unsigned bands cannot ignore. Today’s band must be web-savvy and must be on MySpace. As a multimedia-rich environment, bands have unparalleled access to their fans on both a social and musical level.

Prior to the Internet and MySpace music promotion was sketchy at best and was all about connections, fitting into an industry “mold”, luck, and more connections. It was often left up to the chance of being in the right place at the right time. It was an old boys’ network and the chances of an unsigned band breaking out and getting noticed were all up to politics, insider connections and chance. With the exploding popularity of MySpace music promotion, the power has shifted to the fans and the rewards are going to the bands who know the best way to reach their fans. Never before has there been a better chance for unsigned bands to get distribution for their music and to promote your unsigned band.

MySpace has given music fans the biggest coup, by literally giving them the power to choose and the voice to express that choice in a way that the music industry establishment and musicians cannot ignore. This gives indie bands and unsigned bands a tremendous advantage they have never had before.

Despite noise and griping about how crowded MySpace is with people trying to promote their unsigned bands, spamming other MySpacers with friend requests and using all kinds of software to make them appear more popular than they really are, at the end of the day, MySpace music promotion is the best thing to happen to independent artists since Napster. There is no question that MySpace and MySpace music promotion is the best unsigned band resource available today.

MySpace music promotion has changed the game and in doing do has put a damper on many of the traditional methods to promote your unsigned band. The old way to promote an unsigned band involved using posters, fliers, playing the local club scene and hoping to get discovered by an industry suit.

MySpace has completely revolutionized music promotion in these ways:



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