The Effect of Social Media and the Digital Age on New and Independent Musicians

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Social Media and Music: The Effect of Social Media and the Digital Age on New and Independent Artists

Traditionally, artists have had to beat down the doors of big name record companies to get their records heard in the hopes of getting a recording contract. Social media pervades all aspects of youth culture functioning as a one-stop shop for popular culture. At any time the trending topics on Twitter range from the latest news or a character from a popular television show. With the growing popularity of social media, artists are well equipped for success in a digital age using non-traditional methods. Sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify and iTunes, make music accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Social Media has had a positive effect on the music industry and has created opportunities for artists to generate revenue from sources other than record sales. Artists can share their music for little to no cost and can be very successful independently, temporarily cutting the record label out of the equation. New and independent artists can earn a good portion of their money from tours, advertising, and merchandise sales. Social media serves as an effective platform for increasing Internet presence, branding, building a loyal fan base, as well as sharing and selling music. 20 years ago, artists signed with a big label, put out a hit record and went on tour. The hardest part of becoming famous was getting discovered. Now, there are so many different ways within the industry to make money and it is unclear how to track all the revenue from the wealth of ways to consume music. Subscription services, iTunes, YouTube/Vevo, Internet Radio and CD sales generate different revenue for the host, the record company, the artist and the songwriter. Artists can make more money as independent artists without middlemen. TuneCore is an online distributor that enables musicians to place their music with online retailers like iTunes and Amazon. Artists can...
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