Using the net and new technologies to circumvent the old boy/payola/corporate system and bring new music straight to the fans is a long held dream that to some degree is finally coming true with the success of bands like the Arctic Monkeys. But with every breakthrough comes a downside and the potential for over-hype and fan burnout is becoming a concern.
This topic - a problem many music marketers can only dream of having - and the issue of fan loyalty in an era where hot new sounds are just a click away - were brilliantly explored in a piece by Joan Anderman in last weeks Boston Globe.
"Hype is as old as entertainment. In the pop music business, generating buzz has largely been the domain of a record label's marketing department and involved a time-tested triptych of tools: radio, reviews, and video rotation..."
"Today, thanks to the confluence of Internet file-sharing technology, online blogs, and social networking websites such as MySpace, the grassroots community has swelled, quite literally, to global proportions..."
"...(But) Instant stardom is not what the (Arctic Monkey)bandmates, or the British indie label they've signed with, had in mind...The vanishing act is generally as swift and startling as the rise, which is why Kris Gillespie -- who runs the US operations of Domino Records -- met with programmers at high-profile radio stations across the country in January and delivered an uncharacteristic request: to stop playing Arctic Monkey's music."
''The job over the last three months has been to keep a lid on things,' says Gillespie. 'To not let the hype build up...'
"...We're living in the age of disposability. The culture, the computer file, the tastes and trends move at hyper-speed in cyberspace...But that artist is competing with every other artist online, vying for the attentions of an audience ..fluent in the high-tech entertainment marketplace, where there's always another band to discover, another song to be the first to tell your friends about."
Read the full Boston Globe article here.