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Digital Marketing; the Music Industry’s New Hustle

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In a time when cassettes and CDs are obsolete, the traditional methods of promotion and marketing in the music industry are close behind. The panelists at the “Music Artists go Entrepreneurial” Summit at Stanford; Chamillionaire (@chamillionaire), Hammer (@MCHammer), and Mistah Fab (all rappers), discuss how the internet has changed the music industry and how it has impacted their music careers.

Chamillionaire said it best: “Digital is the [music industry’s] new hustle.” The days of street promotion and literally driving from city to city, store to store selling records are gone. The internet and social media have taken control, now serving as a convenient venue for promotion, marketing, and distribution; making it easier and quicker for artists to push out content and for fans to easily obtain it. Today, music fans (including myself) will have already heard an entire album and have tracks in rotation on their iPods before the album reaches stores. Thanks to YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, and Blogs, raising awareness for artists has become less manual and more digital.

As Hammer explains, social media has replaced the middle man or “hype man” – the guy artists pay to promote them and their music; which may or may not actually translate into sales. Being able to apply and analyze their online marketing programs’ analytics allows artists to not only target exactly who their fans are behaviorally, demographically, and geographically; but also measure if it translates into record or concert ticket sales.

Technology and Social Media has rewritten the business model for the music industry. If artists aren’t incorporating Social Media into their current business models, they need to do so, immediately. As a music enthusiast and music blogger, I rely on other music blogs and artists’ Twitter accounts for valuable content; what’s new, what’s hot, and more importantly (stalking-ly) what artists are up to in their everyday lives. Whether they are tweeting/pushing content themselves or hiring a ghost tweeter, having this medium allows artists to control the content and information fans are getting, receive feedback on their work, and most importantly connect and build strong relationships with their fans, as we are ultimately consuming and purchasing their music.

To view the entire discussion: http://alwayson.goingon.com/page/display/28097?param=session/343

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