Social networking and the working musician

I was thinking a couple of weeks ago, which I often do. It was an enriching experience. Anyway, my thoughts were about social networking and how it is affecting the music industry. We live in an unprecedented time when we are able to connect with friends and family literally all over the world. It's incredible to think that just 15 years ago the internet was a new concept to most people unless you worked for the government, where they've had the internet for a long long time, or at least a version of the internet. But now it's as common in the home as the telephone, which ironically is being phased out in most homes in favor of smartphones and internet service. Not to mention Skype and other VOIP services. The time of 2001: A Space Odyssey is here. This has brought about huge changes for the indie and unsigned musical artist. Mainly in that pretty much any artist can record and release an album of all original music, sometimes without ever setting foot in a traditional studio, and without the aid of a larger machine like a record company. Promoting the album, though, usually falls on the artists shoulders. which means that he is left alone to brave the digital frontier. That's where social networking can be a real asset. I can use myself as an example as just a few months back I completed and digitally released my own album. If I hadn't had accounts like facebook, twitter, myspace, etc., I wouldn't have had much of a release. In addition to my live shows, these networking websites have helped me have an average of around 6,500 hits per month on my official website. That may sound like a small number, but that number is without any additional promotion, and no radio airplay. This also brings with it some unique challenges such as: You as the artist are now the promoter, manager, record label president, website IT guy, etc. If you don't work hard to get people over to your site where they can hook up with your music, you might as well pack it in and do something else. There's never been a better time to be a musical artist, but there's never been a more frustrating time as well. There's no one way to do it right. The name of the game is getting your music in peoples hands. If you have any thoughts on this subject as an artist or a fan, I invite you to comment.

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