Social Media and Bands
It’s kind of hard to remember a time without MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Back in the day you would have to write fan letters and mail them to the record company or fan clubs. You would always wonder if the band ever read your letter or if they even got it at all. Flash forward to 2013, instant communication with your favorite bands; no more writing letters or having them “lost” in the mail. Now I know there are some bands who have communicated with their fans via their website before social media, but these social sites have enhanced it for the fans of today. I have seen some bands that pose for a group photo with the audience after a concert and share it on Facebook. Huge change from when I was a teen back in the early to mid 90s. How many of us years ago would have wanted to find out in real time where our favorite bands would be performing next? Or find out how to win a meet and greet with the band before the concert? We had to rely heavily upon the radio stations and MTV for tour information, stay up sometimes until the wee morning hours to catch their new music video or sit by the radio to hopefully catch their new single. Now all we have to do is login to Facebook or YouTube and have the info instantly in our hands. Over the past few years, YouTube and MySpace seem to have played a big role in discovering new music. Any search on YouTube for a song will no doubt contain people covering it.
Staying connected to fans and gaining new ones has also been able to take place through Facebook. They want to know that their fans out there supporting them and their music. More connections means more fans and encouragement that their music is gaining ground. I’m sure the record company, A&R, PR and band members check their page on a daily basis to see if the liked count has gone up. If it was not for Facebook and even Spotify, some bands would probably go undetected. I have discovered some pretty awesome bands through Spotify over the past five months. Had it not been for that, I would have never known that these bands were around.
I’m going to get off topic here, but I want to express my views on it. Some of the bands I have been listening to through Spotify are from Europe. Some are known here in the U.S. and others want to break into the U.S. scene. America is one of the hardest markets for any foreign band to get their foot in the door. Yes, there have been a few that have charted but then disappear as fast as they charted. Is America biased against bands from across the pond? If they were, The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Oasis and some others would be unknown to us or one-hit wonders. The U.S. is considered a HUGE stepping stone in music to becoming known all over the world. How many of us heard the Vengaboys, 2 Unlimited, Alice Deejay, 2 Brothers On The 4th Floor, Robyn and Roxette back in the 90s and early 2000s? They were able to tap into the U.S. charts and I believe it helped their careers by doing so. Some of them are more popular in Europe but they can say they at least had one or more hit songs on The Billboard charts in the U.S. If America can give these bands a chance, why not some others? Some Euro bands have a huge fan base in some different regions such as their own country, other Euro countries, Asia, Japan and Latin America to name a few. Yet it seems like they have a very small fan base in the U.S. and are just a blip on the radar. Just give Euro bands the chance you have given others.