Has social networking changed the music industry?

Before the turn of the millennium having an eclectic and boastful CD compilation was every dedicated music lover’s aspire. Who knew that within a decade our CD’s would be collecting dust in the corner, and our treasured music collection would be stored in a computer?

Up and coming artists can now, and have been able to for around six or seven years, add their own tunes to a huge database of free online music on websites alike MySpace.

Of course this has completely revolutionised the current music industry, but is it for the better?

Becoming recognised and being in the right place at the right time would have been a very depending factor fifteen years ago, whereas having your music online and readily available for all maybe the new direction…

Huge artists like Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen have famously used MySpace as a catalyst to begin their illustrious careers, and I’m assuming they haven’t looked back since.
On the other hand, the entire concept of social networking sites providing free music for everyone can be seen as a vicious cycle in itself.

For example, indulge yourself into this fictional scenario:

Joe Bloggs creates music and uploads it to the web – providing the music is well received many flock to listen for free, resulting with Bloggs receiving no revenue.

Despite the facts music cannot be owned by the listener, this whole process will work very well as an advertising launch.

Assuming everything goes to plan, Bloggs should have fresh faces at his next gig, which are now of course few and far between because he does the majority of his advertising online.

Why lug your dad’s old guitar around dank underground basement turn music venues, when you can sit at home, copying and pasting your web address to other Facebook users?

One can only hope this state of affairs isn’t what’s become of the 21st century’s music industry.

Facebook’s none surprising growing popularity (800 million active users worldwide) overtook Rupert Murdoch recently acquired MySpace in 2008.

Facebook plays host to hundreds of pages that users can ‘like’ to promote musicians. They also recently jumped on the ‘free online music bandwagon’, and now present the option for the user to listen to their desired artist for free.

Recently MySpace introduced a new feature to their music programme. MySpace will recognise what you’re listening to and recommend similar artists (much alike Apple’s ‘genius’), which works well as a music discovery tool.

As a new artist this design could be a fantastic way of getting your name about, and that’s primarily what you need to kick start your fan base.

Knocking this relatively new system of easy access, free music would be a thoughtless move on anyone’s part.
Music has been at the forefront of entertainment for centuries, and I doubt that’s likely to change in the immediate future.

As they say ‘any publicity is good publicity’ and I’m positive that the music industry will continue to strive and expand providing people are willing to write it.

As the elaborate web of the internet continues to develop, I can only hope that social networking sites can hold their own and stay at large as they are currently, providing us with free music and an ample advertising base.

When it boils down to numbers advertising is the only thing that keeps sites like Facebook and MySpace going. Music plays a big part in the world of MySpace, and it contributes a large portion to its income. Why take that away from them?


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