I don’t really buy this article. I am 20 years old- the same age as Ariana Grande, OneDirection, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and many other stars who rose to fame quickly. Yes, they’re attractive, and yes, social media played an integral part in their explosion of fame. Using those tools to their advantage doesn’t detract from the value of their craft. Sure, they might not always write their songs and the production of the most popular mainstream youngins is centered around the voice and the synthetic instruments or beat typically. But, if performing and connecting to an audience or just singing pretty for people to hear is their passion then why does someone need to say they’re not artists- they’re fads? I cant speak to a sustainable career for the big names of today because their careers are in the first chapters , but their fans seem extremely devoted. I heard a story of some girls waiting outside Justin Biebers hotel for some 24 hours, camped out waiting to catch just a glimpse of his in person. If that’s isn’t dedication then I don’t know what is. A true fan can be quiet, loud, or anywhere in between. Just because the stars of the generations past weren’t being flowed the way sensations are today doesn’t mean the fandom is any less authentic. The tools we have today are there for us to use- if this technology was available for the previous generations, they would’ve used it to their advantage as well. Artists explode today through social media because people are on social media and can find artists so quickly- going viral could be a blessing or a curse, but either way, you get your craft and message out more efficiently than ever imagined. Maybe the older generation does not understand why the millennials behave this way, but we will have to wait to see if the sudden fame trend of artists today yield sustainable fandoms and careers. I don’t think it’s a question of artistry- an artist could be zen and spiritual about their music, or an artist can just have the goal of making something sound cool so people shake their butts when they hear it. Either way, we as fellow industry members aren’t here to judge the validity of someone’s idea of artistry. Even if fame changes people, that doesn’t necessarily mean the product output has less quality. Take the Beatles, they were on a TV show once and were an instant sensation across the nation- they have had one of the most sustainable careers and consistent fan base. I don’t think it’s fair to make blanket statements about the millennials because yes we are different, but so is the world we are growing up in. This might be an incoherent tangent but i feel these discussions can be though provoking.
I don’t know if it’s fair to say that the young adults need peer validation for their music tastes- in fact, I might argue the opposite. I do, however, agree that streaming sites have become a popular alternative to pirating music. This way, financially supported by advertisements, record labels get compensated for the play off their artists. Marketing and targeting audiences and demographics is a useful tool when implemented correctly. If Imeem and Bebo are targeting their audience narrowly, it could benefit or work against them by excluding possible audiences. I agree that simple platforms are more accessible and likely to gain wider popularity. Comparing streamed music online to radio and MTV, which are both ad supported successful platforms, gives hope for the future of streaming and preventing straight piracy. I think that “scarcity creates value” might have some truth to it, but for the industry today, it might not be as applicable. I do believe that adding extra incentives and features such as fan groups, artist information, and concert dates as well as charts. Attracting people by providing “free” services is an intelligent way to draw people in, especially compared to just taking music.
Social media in general is useful for making an idea infectious. I like that the music industry has caught on and is trying to implement the tendencies and needs of the people into their business plan. I think that streaming is a great alternative to piracy that is attractive, affordable, and accessible. I am excited for the music industry as e continue in this same direction, because I feel that it could bring the younger generation to appreciate music the way the older generation think we don’t. Social media can be used by any age, so this could be a very successful platform and strategy.
Gail Federici, CEO of Federici Brands, explains how she feels about marketing with music. I think this is an extremely pertinent topic, since in my Art of Mixing class, Scott LeGere has been discussing career options making music that can be lucrative, which includes marketing and promotion. Federici mentions, “I am unapologetically happy when performers are successful in manipulating me.” This sentiment is rarely discussed but we all like to be tricked or influenced by certain things. Music can be one of the most influential aspects of advertising. It can be used to reach a demographic, provoke certain emotion, or convince us to change or take action. She discusses that music has been an instrumental tool in her success, because she would play to the demographic when selecting music. She explains, “Popular culture connects people of a generation. It is relatable. It’s fun. It gives a brand a personality. It makes the consumer feel that you are on the same page.” These statements are completely true- people want to feel like they relate, and they are attracted to others like them. Something that has become a crucial aspect of my career I have tried to put extra focus on is branding. Branding is the sounds, images, people, style, feeling you become associated with. I have come to realize that this needs to be intensely planned and thought through, because it sticks with you for a long time and its confusing to people when you suddenly change your branding. Another section of ideas I found made very much sense, when Gail reasons, “Weaving pop culture into our marketing and advertising efforts is natural to us. It’s not forced. I think whenever you can incorporate one of your passions into your brand, you will find an audience with whom it will resonate loudly.” I agree in that your brand should be organic to you- it should come natural. I am hopeful that we can each make our own brands true and organic to ourselves and our passions, and that our choices in branding come from a place of honesty.