Social Media and the Music Industry are their own massive conglomerates individually, but it is ill advised to ignore their synergy or refuse to follow their relationship. Social Media would be a blank forum if given nothing to perpetuate, such as music. Though music hasn’t always relied on social media, it has always relied on accessibility, promotion, and engagement. Now, all three have dynamically disembarked from record labels to the fans.
One could argue that within the last half century, no commercial industry has combated more change than that of the music industry. With music perpetually being at the mercy of technological advancements, YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many more have caused for record label and musician adaptation. What was once an uncomplicated and easily understandable business model (band or artist records song, record label sells song, artist and record label make money) has now transposed itself into one of undeniable flux and one that relies heavily on the consumer’s interaction and response. The antiquated one way business model has now formulated into a two way model(page 28), allowing fans to share their opinions and even promote the band/musician themselves for a much larger viewing scale.
The archaic major record label has gradually become less pertinent for twenty-first century consumers. The Internet is simply more accessible and effective in reaching consumers. And because of social media websites providing a platform for artists to market and distribute their own music, independent labels are hastily growing. Billboard’s midyear breakdown of Nielsen SoundScan data showed independent labels with a 34.5% share of unit sales of albums and according to the American Association of Independent Music, or A2IM, indie artists make up about 35% to 40% of Pandora’s streams, and about 12% to 13% of broadcast radio’s playlists.
These substantial changes in distribution have left major record labels in turmoil and in dire need of a successful countermove. This Internet evolution may have imposed mayhem for the major labels, but it has spurred more creative room for musicians. Maybe this movement of online streaming has positively shifted attention from financial aspects of the industry to the artistry itself, which is really what matters.
Time is of the essence for the music industry.