HOW SOCIAL MEDIA HAS CHANGED MODERN MUSIC CONSUMPTION
The digital revolution has been pivotal within the music industry. The increase in online consumption in this current climate, has shifted the way the music industry operates. Some have seen the internet — and everything that comes with it — as a curse. However, others view these changes through a lens of gratitude.
THE EXPANSION OF ‘DIGITAL’
Social media has undoubtedly had a monumental impact on today’s society — notably on how we interact with one another both physically and digitally. Similar patterns are easily noticeable within the music industry. Its adaptation has allowed us to consume content in exciting ways, and as time goes on, this has continued to progress. The way we interact with music has changed. Software and websites like LimeWire, were at a time, the preferred music source for mp3 files. This has now overtime, transformed into a deep reliance on online streaming. With a few taps on an app, you can stream millions of songs that have been uploaded to streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal. In 2008, the UK reportedly sold 132 million CDs. By 2018, this figure fell to 32 million.
Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal have influenced the way modern listeners demand music. Daily doses of “Fresh Tune Fridays” allows music fanatics to embrace new music weekly; keeping trending artists relevant for longer periods of time. With the use of algorithms, these online servi
ces help generate a personalised listening experience; catered to each listener. This differs from playlist to playlist, based on your most listened genre, artist or type of song. A study by LOOP in the US, found that playlists account for 31% of listening time across all demographics — compared to albums which account for 22%. On average, Spotify’s “Are & Be” has 5.225.153+ likes.
SINGLES CARRY THE SAME WEIGHT AS ALBUM SALES… MAYBE EVEN MORE
Upcoming and emerging new artists may feel more inclined to put forward a sequence of singles rather than a full-blown album. It’s a strategy many new artists believe will help them score a head start to their album — a steppingstone onto the mainstream ladder before the big sales come in. It was done with SiR’s “Hair Down”, Victoria Monet’s “Moment”, and Ari Lennox’s “Shea Butter Baby”. There’s no doubt that these tactics will continue to be used — it works! This approach shows how fast pace the music industry can be when merged with social media. Artists are able to stay relevant and within the public eye with substantially less work while doing what they do best; creating.
Through tweets and Instagram posts, fans are closer to their favourite celebrities than ever before. These interactions play a role in influencing how artists are being booked for shows/festivals and makes it easier to track who’s “hot right now”. The success of Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Time Road’ is a perfect example of how social media is a factor to ensuring an artist scores that number one hit. We also saw a similar pattern with the discovery of rapper, Cardi B. From making funny, motivating vine videos, to landing a position in Mona Scott’s reality TV show “Love and Hip Hop: New York” — the Brooklyn rapper's captivating persona helped to bag her a number one single, “Bodak Yellow”.
RADIO AIN’T DEAD …
…And during a pandemic, it is capable of resurrecting like never before. The emergence of No Signal has proven that radio is very much alive, and it’s currently the new home for the Urban UK music scene. After the release of Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s “VERZUZ”, No Signals’ “10 v 10” show have our favourite artists battle out their best 10 hits. Their success has given the UK audience (and the world) legendary nights of entertainment, quality exclusives and memorable TL highlights.
THE VIRTUAL REVAMP OF LIVE SESSIONS
The bold and minimalist Colors series, is a platform that has successfully proven that pre-recorded online sessions are just as valuable as streaming platforms. The renowned block colours and the hanging microphone has brought a wave of global success for artists such as Mahalia with her infamous “Sober” performance and SiR’s “John Redcorn”. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, COLORSxSTUDIO has helped showcase both underground and upcoming global talent on an easily accessible channel. Award shows like the BET Awards, have recently put together their first digital show where performers recorded their own, personalised live sessions. Each performance showcased the artist’s creativity during lockdown — we can’t wait to see more of this in the music scene.
Megan Thee Stallion BET Awards 2020 Performance
Chloe x Halle BET Awards 2020 Performance
The internet holds the upper hand between the two. It’s difficult to envision the music industry today surviving without the internet — we are living in a digital climate and so many of us are invested. The future of the music industry is heavily determined by what direction the internet decides to take it next.