Discover New Music: Algorithms Or Your Friends’ Suggestions?
Maybe you heard from a friend about a new band or discovered new music through services like Pandora. Traditionally, the record labels were the ones that dictated what music was cool or popular and who would become music superstars. Major labels still hold some of that power, but the power has been slowly fading. There are individuals that can set trends and artists with legions of fans (ie. Lady Gaga and her little monsters), but have you ever wondered if there was a certain person or group that connected all your fans together?
If you are moderately successful in music, there must be someone or some people that first started spreading and sharing your music to others and helped you build up your fan base. In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell talked about how certain people called Mavens, Connectors, or Salesmen can help an idea spread and become popular. These people are helping you by recommending your music to others. But, where did your fans hear about you? Is there a certain fan that is promoting you and telling all of his/her friends about your music? Is this fan a Connector?
If you are an artist that is looking to build your fan base, you can benefit from finding that Connector. At your next performance or ustream, you can ask where people first heard your music. It could be that other companies or music services like Pandora are spreading your music.
Lately, companies like Google and Facebook are utilizing the power of recommendations from friends or people like you. Google Places recently added a feature to their place rating service that identifies people whose tastes overlap with yours to help you discover new places.
Now, Bing has released a feature that will show Facebook likes on search page results.
Tech companies are bringing personalization onto the web in full force. Do you think that Pandora's use of algorithms can suggest better music than your friends' recommendations?
Hypebot contributor Natalie Cheng (@ncswim881) is the Music Think Tank Community Manager. She is also a cellist and is working toward becoming a music marketer. (http://flavors.me/nataliecheng88)