Music Business

5 Aspects Of The Old Music Industry Being Disrupted And Replaced By Social Media

Innovators-dilemmaIn a widely noted Billboard interview, Amanda Palmer stated that "Twitter has replaced Google and [music] management." Nobody cared about the Google part but her claim of replacing music management certainly raised a few eyebrows. Of course, like many such claims, it wasn't totally true but it did provide an interesting example of the disruptive power of social media to replace expensive professional roles with cheap, good enough solutions.

Claire BeDell, writing for Sprout Insights, doesn't break new ground in her look at how social media has become an essential tool for the new music industry. But, in writing for a non-music audience of marketers, she reveals a number of excellent examples of professional roles currently being disrupted and replaced by social media and related tools.

5 Aspects of the Old Music Industry Being Replaced by Social Media

Replaced: A&R at Industry Showcases

"Pop singer Lana Del Ray was noticed when she and her management created a faux homemade music video for her song 'Video Games,' eventually leading her to the opportunity to perform on 'Saturday Night Live' before she even released her first album."

Replaced: Leaking One's Own News to Gossip Columnists

"Frank Ocean made headlines last year when he took to his Tumblr to write about a relationship he had with another man, utilizing a social platform to reveal a large part of his life that was previously unknown."

Replaced: 3rd Party Contests for Songwriters

"Electro-house music producer Deadmau5 even incorporated vocals a fan sent him over Twitter into his song 'The Veldt.' Rolling Stone later named it one of the best tracks of 2012."

Replaced: Publicists and Fan Club Managers

“'Social media is pretty much the only way for This Must be the Band, Grood, and DJ noDJ (his other two bands) to actively promote shows or music,' said [Chicago-based guitarist and singer Charles] Otto. 'It’s also where everyone goes to connect with us before shows for requests and show information.'"

Replaced: The Warehouse Size Nightclub

"In 2011, Justin Timberlake and Specific Media Group purchased the nearly defunct Myspace for $35 million, and a little over a year later unveiled a new Myspace that almost entirely centered around music."

Sure, I overreached here and some of the claims, just like Amanda Palmer's, aren't really true in a truthy kind of way. But once you start looking at social media as a disruptive force, it's a lot easier to understand why the old music industry can't keep up even when they adopt social media as a sustaining innovation.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/ also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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