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February 17, 2010

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homemadelangosta

it was about time somebody started making sense about all the social networking thing. I think it is useful ONLY if you have a solid base to start with, e.i. a good product and a way to sell it. Otherwise it's like drawing 100000 people to a show for which you have no music cos you didn't even have a band and everything goes to waste. Internet is a means to communicate, period. you may use it to sell products. HAve a great product that appeals to people, think how it can be marketed and purchased, then communicate it!
Keep up the good posts!

Fi

Prince and David Bowie?! Great artists, sure, but old news! I think that's really dating Elly Jackson for citing them - if Elly is anti-Twitter and think Bowie and Prince are still mega-stars, I'm afraid I don't put much stock in her social media expertise. If those are the best two people she could come up with as example of successful people "not on Twitter," she'll have to do better than that!

Harry Miree

First of all, let's take a moment and appreciate the irony of this article, surrounded by "Twitter" and "Facebook" buttons that proudly display the number of followers this site has!

In a manner parallel to the idea of maintaining "mystique",

I wouldn't fear overexposure for any band, but I WOULD fear the quality of that exposure. If you're Tweeting once an hour, you're really diluting the power of your punch. I'd rather punch once every 2 months but punch very hard.

The opposite dimension of Twitter's danger is that you can also emphasize your weakness or professional neglect by not maintaining the account well:

Fi, regarding your comment- I think there are some current super stars who, if anything, are held back by their Tweeting in this way. Dave of Dave Matthews Band, the top grossing band of this decade past, has a Twitter account that he neglects heavily. The result is that it shows he is capable of producing content that is not 100% quality (please try to remain objective in your assessment of this example; it is possible to not personally like the music of Dave Matthews Band but still acknowledge that its output is high in quality).

Great article.

twitter.com/1WorkinMusician

I'll be the first dissenting opinion here:

I'm a jazz musician from Seattle and Twitter has been THE best thing for my career. I put out an album that has been heard and talked about by writers from NPR, NY Times, Ottowa Sun, bloggers, DJs, podcasters, other jazz musicians and jazz fans, and all because of Twitter.

It's not the medium that's "killing music careers", it's the users. If you jump in without understanding how social media works and how your potential fans use it, then you will fail. If you take the time to get to know it and your potential fans it can be a great service to you.

It's like anything else in this world...it's not a be-all end-all, and it's not for everyone. But to say that it is "killing music careers" across the board is doing a disservice to your readers, many of whom could benefit from it if they took the time to understand it.

Feel free to check out my Twitter feed at http://www.twitter.com/1workinmusician to see how I'm using it. If you have any questions about it I'd be happy to answer them. You can find my contact info at the website listed below.

Cheers,
Jason
http://oneworkingmusician.com

Ronan's Recording Show

Very cool article. I have been doing a lot research about social media opportunities and strategies, and since its virtually all pro social media, its cool to see an opposing view. Really good food for thought.

Of course the irony might be that I read this article because I follow you on twitter ;-)

Matt R.

I think the point this article ends up making is that social media isn't the best idea for already well-established artists. The mystery that surrounds these mega stars is acceptable because they have the power of the record labels behind them to do all the promo.

For indie artists, who need all the help they can get breaking out of their local market, there's no better way than social media to provide accessibility and extend their brand to more people. They can't afford to be "mysterious" because no one will ever hear about them.

Social media = mostly bad for well established stars from the old media world.

Social media = A necessity for the DIY artist of new media world.

Rachel Rossos

One musician on Twitter who does a pretty good job of communicating without ruining her mystique is Melody Gardot:

www.twitter.com/mgardot

Rachel

LeBron Brotherman

I found this article on Twitter, would not have read otherwise. Just sayin'...

David Hooper

Yeah, that is a bit funny, isn't it?

By the way, since you like it, would you mind hitting the "Tweet This" button above? ;)

social networking design

One cannot be a follower in the real sense, in twitter. After all it is just a button.

Max J AEMM COLUM

Social neworks in my opinion help an up and coming artist get exposure and it helps promote themselves. If someone doesnt want something about them selves out there to the public then thye shouldnt put it on thier profile page. These social networks remind people of upcoming releases of artists, and also is great for event promotion for artists.

Pat from RockStar Machine

Not for nothing, but printing up flyers and hitting random parking lots doesn't do anything.

As far as overexposure, musicians have been getting in trouble for what they've said for years, social media doesn't really compound that. They mess up, people make a big deal for a while, they apologize and it blows over. No biggie.

BTW, I used to hate John Mayer's music until I started reading his blog and tweets, which are hilarious. That made me reconsider his music and I did manage to find a song or two that I liked. Food for thought.

That said, all social media is about community. Most musicians treat platforms like Twitter as a license to spam. That doesn't work. Nor does following random people and hoping that they follow you back (as many will) and eventually get into your music because you're there. More than likely they'll just end up unfriending/following you.

Musicians need to grow their social media following organically from people who are actually into following them. They need to be engaged in the conversations that take place and they should treat promotion via these social platforms as breaking news - as in I have something new going on.

I'll leave you with this, I have just under 650 followers on Twitter, but I usually get around 30 or more clickthroughs when I post links.

Woohoo! I'm a better social media marketer than Seth Godin!!!

...or maybe not.

John Scholz

I have a hard time digesting this post. In a transitional era in the music business where artists' music is being pirated more than it's being bought... and new revenue streams are hard to come by... it is increasingly important for artists to do as much as they can to engage their fans by using tools like facebook, twitter, youtube etc... Making an argument that fans will buy less merchandise, less concert tickets, and buy less music from an artist because they are using social media is absolutely ridiculous and holds no water. I agree that there should be a certain level of allure and inaccessibility on the part of an artist, but by no means does the internet and social media take that away from them.

Artists need to do as much as possible to keep their fans engaged and supportive. Direct communication through social media is an excellent way to achieve just that. I liked an earlier comment where someone said that you need to know HOW to use social media in a positive way and I completely agree with that. Look at the CEO of UFC Dana White. He is a rare individual to reach over 1 million followers on twitter and he has done so by continually engaging fans by communicating regularly, offering contests, giving away prizes/concert tickets, and generally using his micro-blog in a very intelligent way to keep his followers engaged.

30 hits out of 200,000 followers is terrible representation. The only thing that tells me is that that user acquired 200,000 followers that he does not have engaged and has gotten through ineffective channels. I have 192 followers and get approximately 30+ click throughs for all of my links as a comparison.

David... I am a little disappointed this post. Your arguments are very weak. I have been an avid reader of your blog and typically take your advise as good advise... but I am going to hesitate from now on reading anything of yours about social media.

JT "Trying to be inspirational" Jones

I think people are focusing more on the medium, and not enough on the message. If you have 200,000 people that are following you, and only 25 to click the message probably was horrible.

Most people use social media to promote themselves with no thought or concern for the people following.

"WIIFM" is everyone's favorite radio station.

stinson

I made a comment yesterday via Twitter that there were some great points made in this post, but that I did not agree with the overall thesis. And in order to make good on a commitment I engaged in, I'll share a few of my own thoughts to add to the observations made by Fi, Harry Miree, 1WorkingMusician, and JT with which I particularly agree.

First the points made in this post that I think are great, and that I DO agree with:

"Don't confuse fans with people who are following you on Twitter. They're not necessarily the same thing." That's exactly right. Having 1,000+ people on your list is no measure of success or profitability. It's how you ENGAGE with those people on your list. Going online every day and suggesting people become a fan of your Facebook fan page is not the same as people who are organically moved by the things you create, the way you engage with them (both on and offline), and decide to join to your email list, fan you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or subscribe to your RSS feed. You have to drill down deeper and pay attention to the meaning you create. JT nailed it in saying everyone's favorite radio station is WIIFM.

The next point I agree with is something that seemed implied within the post, but not really an explicit point made. That is-find the things you are good at, and focus on those things. Trying to do everything (blogging, newsletters, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LastFM, YouTube, iLike...) is a distraction. You can't be good at all that, so stop trying to. It's the reason Seth Godin says he is not on Twitter. He said he can never be as good at Twitter as Chris Brogan is, so he does not try. He focuses on his blog and it works for him.

So here's what I do NOT agree with. The post poses the question, "Is social networking and overexposure killing music careers?" To me, social networking is a lot of things-blogs, email newsletters, Twitter, and Facebook to name just a few. So to me it's a little ironic (as Harry Miree pointed out) that we're actually discussing this topic within the social media realm. As far as I'm concerned that alone formulates the answer to the question. But as this post developed it seemed to focus mostly on Twitter (and in the comments as well). So if we're specifically questioning the validity of Twitter, then I may be able to go along with this post a little more. However, if we're talking about social media in general, then I can't. Again, it's really about the meaning you create, though. As 1WorkingMusician pointed out, it's how you use social media to interact with people, how you participate in the conversation with them.

The market gets to decide what's relevant, and with the 100's of millions of users in the social media landscape today, it's fair to say that the market has decided what it wants.

To the point of overexposing yourself: you don't have to expose yourself any more than you don't want to. You just have to be honest and transparent. The idea that you have to reveal things which would jeopardize any intrigue is a bit paranoid, I think. By participating in this conversation have any of us genuinely revealed anything about ourselves? No, there's still plenty of things we don't know about each other.

To the point that was made by Elly Jackson in her quote, where she says that artists are promoting their careers in the short run... I believe the exact opposite. I believe social media promotes artists careers in the long run, not the short run, and that traditional media promotes artists careers in the short run. Read Bob Lefsetz (which I'm sure you all do), he's made some fantastic observations on this point.

To the point that social media is easy. It's not. I'm sitting here on a Saturday afternoon typing my response to this post myself. No publicist or professional is helping me in any way. I'm having to form an intelligent expression of my thoughts, as well as support them all on my own. I had to monitor the appropriate channels in order to even keep up with the dialogue. And I had to read all the other comments to make sure I was contributing to the conversation. I had to do this today in order for it to be both timely, as well as follow through on my commitment I made yesterday via Twitter. And I've got to do this kind of thing almost every day in addition to running a business. Social media is very challenging.

Finally, to serve as support material of sorts, here's a list of people who literally wrote the books on this topic. They understand all of this far better than anyone else. I won't post links b/c I don't want to appear spammy, but everyone should google them (I'm sure you've heard of at least two).

Brian Solis
Todd Defren (download his free ebook brink)
Seth Godin Faux Follower post. I know it's already linked, but I got a different take from it. Everyone should read it for themselves.
Bob Lefsetz

Cheers!

Alex A

Great points listed on this. I'm a firm believer that social media appealing purely for the ego factor that one gets from seeing their words in print for all to read (I'm guilty of this as I write). This ego-driven compulsion to promote one-self is the reason why social networks stay in business...not because we actually care what others are writing. And this goes for famous musicians and celebrities... they're deemed to be "Killing their Careers" when in fact we're all just finding out that they're not that interesting to begin with!

jakester

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA

Lou Lombardi

It is a useful for the fans that you already have. I don't see it creating or attracting a lot of new fans. With acts like Mayer you will have a lot of curiousity seekers but I think with more niche acts like The Drive-by-Truckers, or Wilco you see more "true" fans, or at least more people who will either purchase a CD, or download, or attend a show. I don't see it "killing" anyone's career. i that it is a bit of an overstatement. There have been and will always be artists who are more aloof and artists who are totally accessible no matter what the media. The mystique thing doesn't work for everybody either. I think it makes the whole ladnscape much more interesting when we have both ends of the spectrum wether the media is new or old. ...my two cents. Lou

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1232707625

Quoting printed media, in general, is dated. The new music generation lives & works @ 140 characters per second, deal with it! Rolling Stone is still in print? lol

Twitter (and all social media) are simply tools. Used properly, they are quite effective. Used in the wrong way, things go wrong. In short, don't blame the tool for killing a career, blame the user!

Taf

I definately agree with what you are saying but its not always like that.
To anwer your question check out Imogen Heap, shes an artist with loyal fans not just followers...

gibsongtrgirl

From my ASCAP feed:
New Music Acts to Labels: 'We Won't Tweet'
By Greg Sandoval --The music industry is in a major state of crisis and some up and coming acts are reluctant to dirty their hands with social networking.... The labels are saying back that the days when performers--even mega-superstar performers--can keep fans at arms length are over. .. "There may be some indie hipper-than-thou artists who want to let the music speak for itself," Daniel Glass, founder indie label Glassnote, said on Friday. "They are probably not for us..."

gibsongtrgirl

New Music Acts to Labels: 'We Won't Tweet'
By Greg Sandoval --The music industry is in a major state of crisis and some up and coming acts are reluctant to dirty their hands with social networking.... The labels are saying back that the days when performers--even mega-superstar performers--can keep fans at arms length are over. .. "There may be some indie hipper-than-thou artists who want to let the music speak for itself," Daniel Glass, founder indie label Glassnote, said on Friday. "They are probably not for us..."

Dindojo.wordpress.com

Great article! From a fan standpoint, though I am a fan of Third Eye Blind, the only thing I really want to know is when they have new music coming out, or when they are performing in my area or within a driveable distance. Behind the scenes video stuff is cool too. I really don't care if they are at a bar having a scotch listening to music. TEB isn't so guilty of tweeting every hour of every day, but I have heard of artists who are.

As for people following me and the people I follow back, I can tell who's there to share relevant information and who's just following to have a +1 to their list. Like any tool, I think it's how you use it. I haven't really found the fulcrum of Twitter so I don't use it as much.

Artists sharing way too much information is indeed a problem. I do respect Prince, and Bowie for their "mystery". It is a basic human nature to want what you can't have, and if you can have access to someone's life whether you want it or not, why would you want it? Kind of like that girl who was crushing pretty hard on you when you were taken, but couldn't give a damn when you were single...

Ray

I Find that it soleley depends on the network you use & how you use it. For the most part I don't like or use Twitter that much. I think it's pointless for a stupid remark about how your day is going. I use it for bulletins of shows but to a big extent find it pointless also. News Media & Info Media is better suited to Twitter than music.

McNary

Thanks for broaching this topic David. I'm assuming the fatalistic approach you took in writing this blog posting was to get a robust conversation going. Your argument was weak and disjointed but, nonetheless, very effective in eliciting some great responses that I've found super helpful. Thanks to everyone that has harnessed your brain power shared your great ideas!

Holler,

Mcnary

Bluedot_

I've been using Twitter for marketing a new documentary film we have done. I have 2000 followers, and unless I constantly Tweet, it's absolutely worthless for clickthru's or interest. I see it similar to myspace. Everybodies trying to market, so there are no fans really... just a mutual feel good of trying to get your product out there. I quit it.

Now Facebook? Now that sends REAL TRAFFIC.

Uke Jackson

Maybe the question should be "Is business killing music?"

James Miller Band

i did like this article, however completely disagree with most of it.
much like anything, moderation is the key. slow and steady wins the race.
as for twitter on a personal note, it has little effect if any, for over a year in terms of my music and product. i have been in the business since records were only form of medium, and one thing i can say is that, the computer has been the single most influential element for anything music. twitter, not so much, i dont find twitter to be interactive at all. over posting is definitely a form of career suicide. and seriously as for prince and david bowie, i have an ENORMOUS amount of respect for them but lets be serious, would they have sold half as many records if they didnt dress like WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and prince did change his name to a symbol, and david did dress in drag all for the sake of the show.....and it is that show, which cant be accurately 'shown" on twitter......noone cares what prince ate for breakfast, they just want to see him "Fu@K a guitar on stage"...etc......
the thing is, many of the staples (radio/mags/stores) that kept this business alive, are all embracing facebook,twitter, myspace.......just like MTV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! same shit, different channel. added to that, it is a way for an artist to CONTACT these people or comp[anies, which is something we never had access to without representation....
my twitter account grows slowly with people who are only trying to PUSH their product. now on tv, there are people selling books on how to use twitter to become a millionaire.....ebay anyone??????? not one of my fans only has me on twitter, they just kind of found it and added me......but these people already knew me, and we have preexisting relationships. and the rest are trying to sell me something. i donttry to sell stuff on twitter, though i do advertise sales....which is a fine line.....i use twitter to give music away to those who only have me there....as a special.... almost like to answer the question: why do i have this guy on twitter? and the answer is, he gives away free stuff, if an only if you have him on twitter..... but this has NOT been successful in gaining hundreds of thousands, but rather, i think just keeping those that do have my twitter feeling special or "in the know"
good article, but......twitter is not for musicians. it really isnt interactive, so the only use i do see for it , is that it serves as an inexpensive HEADLINE for people advertising a product. yes people do abuse free advertising, but onething i can say, is that twitter is fairly up to date on deleting "phishers or spammers"

Dave Huffman

I agree with Jason above, it's not the medium - it's the user.

And yea - you can totally build up a ton of faux followers, but you also really can build really genuine ones.

I made real relationships with 5 new people last week that I did not know before. We connected on twitter and then I made a point to connect offline as well. By the time we met in person - I felt as if I had already known them.

I love Seth Godin, but his entire Linchpin promotion campaign was viral based. He may not generate a ton of click throughs because he doesn't use the medium to connect...he uses it to BROADCAST.

Two completely different things that yield two completely different results.

However, some of the people who supported him use the medium to connect. And I saw one link that generated 300 click throughs.

I'm not saying this will work for everyone. And to each his own. There are more than one way to connect with fans. I think it's actually noble that some would question before diving in...part of the problem is people thinking they "Need to be where the eyes are..." then diving in and spamming everyone.

I do love that you are challenging it. I hate when people fall in line and blindly follow along. Objections like this make us take a step back and re-evaluate.

@davemhuffman


David Hooper

In some cases, it definitely it. But business is also allowing a lot of music to be heard.

Uncle Indie

I was managing an artist last year out of L.A. I parted ways with him for various reasons, but in the beginning his main method of "promoting" himself was through MySpace.

I have been involved in the Internet since the earliest days and I explained to him that the Internet is good for only one thing... A delivery vehicle for DATA. That is all it will ever be. He didn't buy it.

What I went on to tell him was the fact that young artists believe that uploading mp3's at flophouses like MySpace or iTunes is "distribution". It isn't, but that is what they believe. You can use the web to deliver music, but it won't sell you as an artist. He still didn't buy it.

In order to prove the uselessness and futility of it we did an exercise together. He had a gig in LA and a rather large MySpace (pretend) friend base. We sent out 10,998 invites there, Twittered our butt off and sent out hundreds of messages on YouTube with a video of a new release.

We had the door people ask everyone how they heard about the gig and where they got the invite. After everything tallied up six people... SIX, actually came from our efforts on the Internet!

I would have been amazed if 100 showed, that was my prediction. Six was a pretty convincing argument to spell it all out for this young artist.

The music business has not really changed all that much. The fantasy that you are going to become successful using the Internet is just one of the myths of the so-called "Music Revolution" that people believed in awhile back. There have been exceptions, but there always are.

Speaking of Bowie, I was cracking up yesterday about him. I have an "Alladin Sane" LP and inside is a small piece of paper to join the Bowie fan club. Just fill it out and send him $3.50 and you're in! That's marketing. I was tempted to fill out the 70's vintage form and send one. There happens to be two in the record jacket. One for a friend, of course.

Tim Madden

Spot on Matt. I was going to comment but you said exactly what I was gong to say

Terrance (3000 Records)

Artist's like Prince, or Tim McGraw, etc... have clubs you can join for special access. This may mean even winning or earning a back stage pass, or front row tickets, for example. You have to pay to join these clubs. People find value in things that they have to pay for, and not always in what is free. Twitter is free.

With that said, Twitter should probably be used with a grain of salt. However, It's great to bring attention to something that needs it.. for example the media doesn't talk about some important topics due to media control. With Twitter, anyone can post that "Bank of America Sucks because they rip people off with $35 NSF fees". This will not only grab the attention of foolish people who actually use Bank of America, but possibly the people at Bank of America.

For a Musician, perhaps Twitter is a waste of time. I'd rather be out playing shows, selling a physical product, getting emails for an email list, and just writing and recording quality music.. and meeting people in person. However, if someone is truly gifted at using Twitter and can build massive followers around their topics of interest, then more power to them.

However, with an Email List of 10,000 people who are truly interested in your product or service, you can make money. With 10,000 twitter followers I would imagine that there is much less money to be made. If phones truly become something most people use to buy stuff, then Twitter would be profitable. Even then it may be tough to make money using Twitter.

As for running your mouth, any Musician or person with a career can do that in any setting. Whether it's at the office, on stage, in an email, or other way. I guess Twitter makes it even easier to run your mouth.. but Twitter is probably taken with a grain of salt. Running your mouth on Twitter won't get you fired (most likely) as easily as telling your boss directly that he's a jerk.

ian bruce

your talent and your performance and your ability to entertain,
especially to entertain is what is important. everything else is just stuff.

i want to see blake lewis because i was entertained by him when he was on american idol, same with adam lambert, same with the regional band i heard on area radio, same with the band i saw on wvia/pbs tv.

i was entertain by both john mayer's music & his words/interviews. as long as he doesn't marry his 13 year old cousin he should be fine.
ian
www.communitylvmc.org

Richy Kicklighter

Jason I think I agree with both points of view twitter success probably has a lot to do with who and how. Anyway if you get a chance take a look at my website midnightpassmusic.com or any of the sites of mine you can see by googling my name. I would be very interested in any thoughts you might have on how I could improve and I'm sure theres probably plenty.

Jorge

The thing is with Twitter is that if you have 25K followers or, say, you're following 25K people how are you gonna catch what people are saying? Unless you are glued to your twitter 24/7 then isn't logical to assume you're GOING TO MISS TWEETS,AND LOTS OF THEM? I mean, c'mon people . . . now facebook and, I believe myspace to a certain extent, are viable for getting your music and information out to your fans. Yeah there's going to be those that just need another notch, a friend, on their list but it's only bragging rights for them. Those don't really care but your true fans will read your posts, come out and see you AND spread the word and therein lies your best chance of success. Keep at your craft. Nothing beats talent and great songs.

Yeah, I have twitter but I'd rather have 350 people following who really want to know what I have to say than 25K who could care less and I get lost in the tweety world.

That's all I have to say about that . . .

Peace and Love
Jorge

XOCH

It's a catch 22. To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question.

Pat from RockStar Machine

"artists' music is being pirated more than it's being bought"

Um, I think you're a bit misinformed on this one.

A lot of people believe this, but there's no indication that this is the case.

The fall-off in record company profits has more to do with consumers choosing not to buy entire albums (retail $12+) and instead opting to skip the filler and buy one or two individual songs from those albums (@0.99 each) - or more of the music that you want for less of the cost. I know that this shift in options has saved me a fortune.

Besides, due to the fact that they aren't paying for what they download, many illegal downloaders download songs or albums on a whim that they would not have otherwise chosen to buy or been able to afford, had they actually paid for them.

Of the few studies that have been done on this topic, none have addressed this and therefore they cannot be taken at face value.

no quizzle

People read too much into things. Main media is where the money is at, and always has been. There are hundreds of digital distribution outlets to sell your music online. There are plenty of ways to advertise, everything else is publicity! Good publicity = good, bad publicity = good. Saying that, people want what they can’t have, and value what they pay for. Free stuff is good for publicity but otherwise it aint worth squat. You need to advertise/publicize in relevant media or you are not going to reach you target audience. Myspace music is relevant because it is music based, while twitter is not, you are just another thread amongst millions of others.
That said, now is the most exciting time to be an independent artist because off all these other avenues to publicize and sell music without major distribution. Only the majors are complaining about record sales because they are working with the old paradigm and it is not working any more, they find it hard to adapt to the new marketplace where fans don’t pay for fillers anymore.
Buyers/fans either want to ‘Be you’ or ‘Do you’, if you don’t realize this you will never sell massive. People don’t want to do you if there is no mystery, don’t want to be you if they know the real you, as the old saying goes you should never meet you idols!

Christopher Cennon

At least Prince has been involved with new technology ("Crystal Ball" internet preorders, 1998; other download releases in the early 2000s) from fairly early on - I'm not sure about David Bowie. Peter Gabriel might have been a better match, as he's in the same age-range ballpark, and has been mucking about with new technology, well ... it seems forever.

For Prince to experiment with new delivery mechanisms, yet NOT jump on Twitter is both telling, and consistent with the lockdown that he tries to maintain with regards to his image.

David Hooper

Crystal Ball was way ahead of its time and a big failure, which is why he went back to traditional distribution. That was before downloads though and you have to give it to Price for pushing the limits and trying something new so early in the game.

Had he tried it just a few years later, when more people had email, people were comfortable with online processing, and the basic infrastructure was there, it would have been amazing.

What he did to boost sales of Musicology (selling them with concert tickets) is also worth looking at. Just posted an interview with Barenaked Ladies and they're doing the same thing with their latest album. http://blog.musicbusinessradio.com/2010/03/barenaked-ladies.html for that.

Bowie actually has a very successful online fan club, which was one of the first. http://davidbowie.com/ for info on that.

Ian Heath

Hi there! I am moderating a panel at SXSW 2010 that is discussing this exact topic. It's called "Too Much Information! - Is Interacting Killing Rockstar Mystique?" - http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/699

It's taking place on Saturday March 20, in Austin TX.

If you're planning on being in town, come out and join the discussion, your input would be most welcome!

Ian

Todd Jemar

Social networking for artists should be seen as an art of interaction and not just selling a brand. I managed a group who had a song called the Stanky Legg. We garnered over 8 million views on one promo video independently. We too had a twitter account and myspace. When we released the song to iTunes we sold over 20,000 single sales online within the first hour of it going live. Social networking is important for new artists coming into this market. If you are someone like Prince there is no need to Twitter every 5 min. His Legacy is already set.

My suggestion to all music artists would be not to focus on tweeting or updating status' every 5 minutes on every detail of your life but to put out more video on sites like YouTube that create a audio/visual personal connection with your fan base. Make them feel closer to you.

Then focus on responding. Replying and responding to comments. Reply and respond to as many of them as possible. You don't have to keep the convo going. Just a simple Thank you for your support! :-) will suffice.

Tweeting and gaining more friends and followers on your profiles mean nothing. Replying and Responding to create a bond in order to convert a follower or friend into a fan should be focus.

Check out one of my artists I manage now on YouTube. www.Anhayla.com http://www.Anhayla.com. Her subscribers and friends on her myspace and youtube account do not just follow her, they interact. And she spends half a day everyday responding and replying to comments and messages. When she does this she converts a "passer-byer" into a fan who is a "buyer".

So the moral of the story is just interaction. Uphold intrigue and mystery but increase interaction. That is the key.

I would love to talk with some people on this subject. You can visit my blog at http://www.ToddJemar.com to get a hold of me.

Keith Mohr

David.. Its not the tool that is hurting careers, its the artists themselves.

David Hooper

Great point! It's all in how you use it...

Nate

Personally, I don't think there is such a thing as overexposure in the music business. If I may put it, overexposure is good. It's the kind of exposure that spells its difference though. If the kind of exposure is something that your audience and fans could translate into, then this kind of exposure will definitely keep your guns rolling.

Corporatethief.wordpress.com

I feel that it was different back then. The amount of information people received was limited on new music. Most artist's today are thought these methods of social promotion online. I think it's unfair to compare anyone now days today to David Bowie Or Prince .

I believe that some artist's that are in certain genres like pop and hip hop and maybe dance need to be in the lime light, but other alternative artist's need to step back and just focus on the music and direct fan connection with tours and maybe a blog/website. Sigur Ros is an example of what I mean. But if Lady Gaga dropped out of the headlines she'd go bankrupt again.

I think you really have to define what type of artist or music genre you are talking about before you can say social is killing music careers.
careers

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