How the social networks have changed the face of “bricks and clicks” business model into a “collective” where members pool resources, share information & provide other benefits. For example the record labels no longer can continue the distribution base model. Streaming and file sharing have forever eliminated the “middle-man” role. Relatively unknown artist can achieve the top rank with record low numbers in sales. Month by month, new records of lower and lower sales are reported by Billboard charts.
The other side of that coin, artists find it increasingly difficult to book gigs without “guarantees” to venues of how many seats they can sell. Street teams, and social networks have evolved to the point where file sharing is the preferred method of finding gigs and advance planning for promotions and new releases. Smart phones and custom apps for loyalty, video streaming and location specific marketing have replaced the once mighty television program as the method of choice by today’s tech savvy consumers.
With no clear method of preventing all of this “sharing” the musicians and songwriters struggle to profit on their creative works. Radio networks have become fewer in number as giant global media swallow all of the local stations into their holdings. This provides ever decreasing opportunity in variety of playlists to get onto. The most widely used distribution model in place these days being “freemium”, or tease them with a portion of a tune or select numbers available in digital download at no charge.
Once the artist manages to get that fan to listen or watch, in order to translate this into revenue many choices remain on how to best pull this off. The most widely used method today being fans doing the heavy lifting on the behalf of the acts. The social networks have become jammed with “promoters”, and specialty music sites have sprung up in tremendous numbers. Artists have the choices of dozens of distribution sites like Amazon, iTunes, Reverbnation, my˽ (Myspace), Soundcloud….an almost endless variety of POS opportunities fighting to get their share.
Add into this mix the level playing field for all international artists to compete for the same revenue/fans and your guess is as good as anyone’s how this all is ever going shake out.