The Deal Before the Deal: Social Media in the Indie Music Era
2018 is here, and as the golden era of hip-hop begins to fade, a new era of the independent artist is on the rise. Indie artists are making major marketing moves and deals, with artists like Chance the Rapper leading the pack, but how are they capitalizing without the powerhouse of a record label?
The digital age has been the playground for both artists and fans. Artists are now able to upload and stream in a matter of minutes as fans access at the push of a button. Social media has become the “jungle gym” in this playground creating an environment of engagement with the artist on top wearing the crown. So how are artists using social media? The question should be WHY are artists using social media.
Social media influence has launched many artists’ careers with pioneers like Soulja Boy (with help from the MySpace era) to artists like Lil Pump, helping them to remain top on of the Billboard charts through the power of over 7 million Instagram fans. Social media marketing and influence has revolutionized the independent artist to go after the bag and make a platinum hit without ever signing on the dotted line to any record label.
So with that much power in the hands of the artist, should record labels panic? Not one bit. Records labels jump at the chance of obtaining an artist with established influence. Big labels are slowly eliminating development deals with upcoming artists and focusing on attractive indie artists with their own brand. High following translates to record labels taking advantage of a smaller marketing budget and increasing their following share. This magnifies the impact of an artist and capitalizes on the new market. With the new indie to label pipeline, social media strategists and marketing companies have emerged “signing” indie artists creating that following to build the attention of record labels. Essentially, the power is in the hands of the almighty indie artist.
Do you think artists should remain solely independent or see what labels have to offer? Has social media consumed the music industry? Let us know.