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The relation between the internet and fandom in the music industry

Patrick Nab

-Inspired by Sophie Ketels-

· Social Media,Music Industry,Online Marketing,Music,Marketing

The music industry has changed over the years. Where new technologies made it easier to fulfill your dreams and showcase your talents to the world, it also made it harder to reach a satisfying level of popularity and income. Simply said the internet has done good and bad things for the music industry. For this article we will just pretend the bad is not there and discuss what good it has done and how it is used by artists nowadays.

The obvious example of the good it has brought can be found in the endless possibilities for new music artists to reach an audience. Nowadays the audience is literally a click away. The internet helps new or upcoming artists to connect with people and build a network or a fan base.

One of the most famous examples is of course Justin Bieber who was discovered, by talent manager Scooter Braun, at the age of 13. Bieber has been recording himself singing covers since he was 12 years old and had posted these videos on his youtube channel kidrauhl.
These videos already showed that Justin wanted to show his talent to the world.

This was not the case with Adele, who did not act upon herself to become famous. A friend of her once posted a demo of Adele on her myspace, the video got picked up and the rest is history. Nowadays Adele earned multiple Grammy awards, platinum or double platinum albums and even an Oscar for the James Bond soundtrack Skyfall.

(source: Hover)

Both showed that the internet gave upcoming artists a new way to be spotted by fans, record labels and other high rollers in the music industry. But now that they’ve reached this status how do they maintain it? And is the internet still an important tool when it comes to marketing your music or yourself as a brand?

To answer this question we have to take into account the importance of the internet in society. Of course we all know that a life without internet is unimaginable. We all shop, socialize and entertain ourselves by the use of the internet. This makes the internet an important tool, no matter what. But how is it useful for the music industry?
 

One of the most important theories related to this question is the one of parasocial relationships. These parasocial relationships are based on just one-sided interest. One person puts effort and time in another party while this other party is unaware of this person's existence.

This theory occurs mostly with celebrities and with that also for music artists. The internet gave this theory an extra boost since now people are able to interact with their parasocial crush. Music artists can use this to their advantage by sharing their lives with their fans and opening up by means of posting about their daily lives or even vlogging. Their fans now have 24-hour access to their idols. Although you might think the interaction part of this eliminates the one-sided part of the theory, this isn’t the case. The so called interaction often is a matter of fans responding to posts, video’s or music of the artist. This could be seen as one-sided interaction. The artist still doesn’t know who is on the other side of the screen, and the relationship still doesn’t go both ways. (Source: find a Psychologist)

An example of someone using this theory to the max:

Beyonce

Showing her entire life on Instagram, making her fans connect to her even more.

With this the internet gave music artists a whole new opportunity to grow their fan base.

Of course we know the internet has its downsides as well, but as we said in the beginning: let's not worry about that now.   

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