The music industry has undergone a significant evolution over the last decade. In the past, signing to a major record label was pretty much the only way for a musical artist to become financially successful. However, in the last few years, several have been able to launch a successful career, unsigned. This new phenomenon being a byproduct of social media, we will take a look at five groundbreaking social media platforms that redefined the music sphere.
Launched in 2003, Myspace was once the social networking website with the most users until Facebook took the throne. Though not as popular as before, we can credit the site for being the first successful hybrid of social networking and music sharing platform available to the mass. Independent artists were able to use Myspace to promote themselves by uploading their songs to build a fan base. Did you know that Lily Allen, Sean Kingston and Panic! At the Disco are examples of artists who owe their international stardom to the platform?
With more than 149 million active monthly viewers worldwide, this video sharing platform has significantly contributed to the evolution of the music industry in many ways. In short, it allows music fans to stream their favourite content at any moment, rejecting the traditional form of the music business plan. From this change, it also created a new business model by generating ad revenues from which the music industry profits. In fact, the behemoth video company paid more than $6B to record labels.
3- Last FM
Last FM is a music streaming website that has significantly contributed to the development of the current industry model. Its structure, similar to that of Spotify, enables users to find and listen to their favourite songs instantly. Another function that it shares with Spotify is the ability for the users to upload their projects to the database for others to enjoy. Also, Last FM’s recommendation system is comprehensive, as it offers music and concert suggestions based on the user’s taste and history. Furthermore, the website was among the first to introduce online radio streaming, which is now considered standard on music platforms.
With over 200 million active users each month, Soundcloud is one of the most popular music sharing platforms on the Internet. The files uploaded on Soundcloud can easily be integrated into other websites, thus making it easier to distribute music. On top of its comprehensive free version, Soundcloud offers additional paid features such as detailed trend reports. Together with Bandcamp, it has helped to popularize the indie scene by providing a channel where independent artists can release their music and reach a broader audience.
Twitter is an important part of music artists’ social media strategy because it brings them closer to their fans. With an average of 300 million monthly users, Twitter had not only a significant impact on the music industry but also a symbolic one as it was widely used in the 2007 edition of SXSW, a major music and arts festival. Additionally, thanks to the Blue Bird platform, music artists can humanize their image by either tweeting about their daily activities or provide updates and exclusive looks at upcoming projects!