What’s Ahead For 2011? Emily White: Direct-To-Fan Sales, Fan Building Through Social Media Will Grow

image from arielpublicity.com As we end the year, Hypebot asked some our favorite thinkers, writers, and friends to answer two questions – one looking forward and the other back.  Here Emily White, Manager/Co-Founder, Whitesmith Entertainment, answers.

Hypebot: What do you see as the most important business and consumer trends that will shape the music industry in 2011?

Emily White: Direct to fan sales and fan building through social media will only continue to grow in 2011 as both are becoming more common and mainstream.

This alone does not squash sales through traditional outlets and mediums but instead gives new artists, who make great music, an opportunity to build their careers without waiting for a magic person who may never actually turn up to help out. In addition, our artists are happy to accept fans, email addresses and revenue from all ways that people want to support their music whether it's through their site or vinyl purchased at a CIMS record store.

However, Spotify's US launch will certainly be a game changer. The success of easy to use Apple products and other great technology brands shows that the public will eat up new ways to experience media and communicate when the breakthrough is placed in front of them at an easy-to-use and free or tiered rate.

Thus, I only see developing fanbases through social media and direct to fan sales growing in 2011 in addition to the public embracing streaming-based platforms such as Spotify, particularly in the US.

Hypebot: Since this is ultimately all about music,  what were your top musical moment(s) of 2010?

Emily White:  1. Watching Margaret Cho evolve into into a comedy rock star. Nothing makes me happier than happy artists and one couldn't miss Margaret's infectious excitement when performing with Brendan Benson at Bonnaroo, The Posies at The Independent, making Bob Dylan video parodies with Ben Lee, performing all over SXSW and getting her very own tour bus. Margaret released a musical comedy album this year.

We entertained the idea of partnering with a label but few seemed to understand the concept of Margaret writing comedy songs with the likes of Andrew Bird and Fiona Apple. One of many reasons I'm proud to be a part of the modern music industry is that the tools are available to completely do things oneself with a clear vision, plan, and hand-picked team. Margaret self-released Cho Dependent , scoring a Grammy nomination for a beautiful yet hilarious album and is having a blast along the way.

2. This is Me Smiling's long awaited new album since their split with Columbia. Recorded at the band's home-studio, the release is free, donation based, and musically life changing. I have probably listened to this album 100 times since it came out and notice something new lyrically and thematically every time. Not bad for 35 minutes of music.

3. "King" Eddie Roeser of Urge Overkill's 7 year old son waving at his dad throughout the band's entire performance with Yo Gabba Gabba at Radio City Music Hall. The band's last album was released 15 years ago; the son is 7. This was the first time Soren was able to grasp what dad's job is. AND there was glitter + balloons :).

Emily White, Manager/Co-Founder, Whitesmith Entertainment

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