indiemusings

As Magazines Perish, Blogs Flourish And Indie Artists Relish

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Amid the string of print media failures in nearly every sector of the magazine industry (see “Blender”, “PC Magazine”), one may begin to question the future of the hard-copy industry-specific medium altogether. With the Web 2.0 movement in full swing, consumers are beginning to demand more and more interactivity with the content they seek, a demand that traditional print sources are hard-pressed to meet. As a result, more and more magazines like those listed above are abandoning their old ways for “online-only” content that is cheaper to produce and is more readily adaptable to their customer’s changing needs. At the same time, independent blog sites and social media networks are growing in popularity as sources for the news and opinions once sought from magazines.

Blender is just another successful magazine whose print version has fallen by the wayside in Web 2.0

Blender is just another successful magazine whose print version has fallen by the wayside in Web 2.0

So what does it mean? Information sources are becoming far less centralized. Instead of a few industry leaders controlling what content people have access to, the Web 2.0 revolution is putting power into the hands of individuals and letting the quality of the content, not the name in the URL, determine what sources people will use to get information. Blogs and the like allow for more specialized media sources that can cater specifically to a desired audience, producing smaller, tighter-knit communities of online users with similar interests. This is not to say that blogs cannot have mass appeal. Sites like perezhilton.com started off as small, independent blog sites, but now have HUGE popular followings worldwide. This shift in how people get their information is taking power from the traditional news outlets of the world, and is creating a new journalistic hierarchy based on merit of content rather than economic clout.

For the independent artist or fan, this is great news. Musicians benefit from not having to prove their worth to Corporate America before they can reach their fans, and fans benefit by not having someone else filtering what music they have access to. Artists can now connect directly with their fans through numerous music-networking sites that allow them to upload their songs and receive immediate feedback from listeners. In essence, the internet fan base is the the 21st century’s global A&R.

Social media networks are beginning to de-throne traditional print sources of the past

Social media networks are beginning to de-throne traditional print sources of the past

So what? So take advantage! Not only can artists now talk directly to their fans, but their fans can talk right back! Use the blogosphere, social media sites and forums to communicate directly with your audience and get a better understanding of their preferences, and of music trends in general. New technology puts the power in the hands of the artists. No longer will “deaf A&R’s” be an acceptable excuse for musicians not being heard, take control of your communication with fans and let it help you reach your musical goals (whatever those may be).

As one media source begins to die out, another is flourishing. Seize the opportunity to connect with the world in a way that was previously unimaginable. Suit up, get your game face on, and get to typing!

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