Monkeying around: The Myspace Musical Revolution

interesting…a band in the UK (Artic Monkeys) last week went #1 in the UK with very little traditional promotion – as far as I can tell this is the first purely Myspace/online fan marketed band to get successful that way alone – at least in the UK.

I just read the interview in this weeks NME (which came out after they went #1) and apparently rather than give demos to the radio stations and A&R execs they gave them to the fans and told them to spread and promote the tracks online…hail guerilla marketing!

I think we just started a new age in the current music business…(well actually it first began few years ago with bands like Babyshambles et al doing guerilla gigging, and those acts developing close direct connections with the fans – but now combined with the internet, and very devoted fans on Myspace and elsewhere it’s now gone big time).

You have major band and ex-major solo ‘names’ on Myspace (Junior Senior, Mark Moore, and Billy Corgan I’ve seen on there, plus loads more) mixed with minor label and indy/unsigned acts.

This seems oddly more revolutionary than say what went on at Garageband…it had to happen, once there was a legit way of sharing or hearing tracks of new bands and acts. For instance, I not only got into mashups via Audiogalaxy in 2001, I also got into Peaches and bought her albums and saw her live 3 times, and got friends into her via the same MP3s who then also saw her live…this is a more legal and friendly way for new acts to do this, with their express permission.

And more importantly, they can now create networks directly with their fans. That’s the dangerous part for the record industry, not the file sharing or piracy, what they’ve always feared is the artists going direct and cutting them out of the loop…well Myspace and others like it do just that.

It’s obvious that certain acts like Arcade Fire owe their success to blogging and online boards (which is why I call it ‘blog rock’ as it’s a certain type of disaffected – nay prog – rock that seems to appeal to the musically literate but also g33koid online blog community) but this is the first I’ve heard of a single going to #1 from nowhere in such a way – and I listen to probably the UK’s biggest ‘indie’ station, XFM.

Interesting times, indeed.

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Tim B Written by:

One Comment

  1. Mart
    November 1

    I couldn’t agree more. There are opportunities out there that might help you to promote your music. Rather then wasting time, money and energy trying to get some airplay. (and kissing the NME’s ass)
    The internet’s potential for breaking up the crusty structures of the music industry (I am not talking abt selling music on iTunes) needs to be unfolded.
    Interesting times, indeed.

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