How The Internet is Changing the Industry
    • MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2017

    • Posted by: Mandi Dudek

    Imagine if a crazy virus suddenly hit the world and wiped out the Internet indefinitely. It would basically be the start of some sort of violent apocalypse. We wouldn't be able to leave our homes without Google Maps, we wouldn't be able to go out to eat without Yelp, and we wouldn't know who to go out with without Tinder. Complete chaos! The Internet has become a part of the way we live now and it's pretty comical to think of the struggles we went through for music, only a couple decades ago. I remember the times of laying on my bedroom floor, using a cassette tape and a boombox to attempt to record an entire song off the radio. But the evolution of the Internet has changed the game for musicians and has kickstarted careers for a lot of our favorite artists.

    Before the Internet took off, aspiring musicians had to get discovered the old-fashioned way - by chasing after corporate bigwigs with demo cassette tapes and playing at any cafe or dive bar they could find - with the hopes that somebody with a connection to the music world would be in the room. But now, the creation of the Internet has put the some of the power back in the artist's hands.

    Social networking has brought a brand new element to the music industry, providing a platform for independent musicians to post their work and build a solid fanbase. MySpace played a huge part in the Arctic Monkeys' rise to fame within months of their very first gig. Fans of the Sheffield rock band created a fan page and posted their profile and music, which eventually lead them to a record deal with Domino. Calvin Harris and Lily Allen also used Myspace to their advantage at the start of their careers. And now, with Facebook, it's even easier for users to discover new bands, share music and connect with artists all over the world.

    Viral videos have become the jackpot for independent artists to get discovered through the Internet. Some Vine users took advantage of the platform to showcase their music, only having 6-seconds per video to leave a mark on followers. Artists like Ruth B. and Shawn Mendes were both discovered on the app. Ruth B. uploaded a video of herself singing and went from 50 to 1,000 followers overnight - which soon after turned into over 2 million followers.

    For hopeful musicians, YouTube has been one of the greatest promotion tools, ever. With a few clicks, artists can upload videos - whether they be original songs or covers - and it'll be easily accessed to over one billion YouTube users. And the option to embed videos to post to other sites has made it even easier to get discovered. Big artists like Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, and Carly Rae Jepsen were discovered through posting YT videos. For years, UK singer-songwriter, Sarah Close, has been uploading covers of songs by big names like Drake, Lana Del Rey, and Rihanna and earlier this month, she released her debut track, "Call Me Out." And it all started on YouTube. If she just dropped this song first, before consistently adding a new cover to her YouTube library every week, would her originals garner nearly as much attention right off the bat?

    Not only has the Internet made it easier for musicians to share their music, but producing music has become more accessible and affordable as well. Artists can create makeshift studios in their homes or rent out a studio for a few days and upload it to the Internet within minutes. The freedom to post, share to social media, reTweet, re-post and discover has become far too easy. The Internet is an extremely powerful medium and will continue to keep advancing. And who knows - soon, the Internet could be the only way to get discovered.

    Also check out our interview with Ruth B:

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