This is an article that talks about the way that new media, ie MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, are changing the music industry. It’s not the traditional send in a demo, make the contacts yourself anymore. Now an artist can build their fanbase to get attention. Colbie Callait is an example and this article is about one up and coming artist who utilizes just about all new media venues to spread his music. This artist is Benton Paul and he is a growing presence in the music world.
New Media is becoming a strong presence in our culture, surpassing boundaries of entertainment and communication into the business world and marketing. New media refers to YouTube, and social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. One industry in particular has been transformed by new media and that is the music industry. It’s not the traditional send in a demo, make the contacts yourself anymore. Now an artist can build their fanbase to get attention.
MySpace has profiles that are designed specifically for artists in which they can upload their music for profile viewers to listen to. One phenomenon of MySpace is Colbie Caillat who after establishing a large fan base was signed by a major record label, Universal Music Group. Facebook has the iLike application which allows its members to choose favorite artists and songs to display or visit the artist page to get more information about them. Facebook also has developed fan pages which members can subscribe to as well.
About a year ago, I along with a colleague, conducted a case study of a local artist trying to break out. This artist is Benton Paul. We looked at Paul and how he utilized many of the tools available in the new media, to gain popularity and to spread his music. Paul has both a MySpace and Facebook profile as well as a band website. Each of these sites offer samples of his music and dates and locations of upcoming concerts. These sites also afford the chance to request a performance by Paul in any given location and to register for his email list. Paul is an artist on iTunes and iLike.
We found through informal interviews and a survey that a significant portion of Paul’s growing fan base had found him through new media. Many had reported seeing him perform a cover of a song they liked on YouTube and searched to find more of his music. Fans also reported that they could attribute following Paul’s music career through fan bases on Facebook and his MySpace page.
At the time of the study, Benton Paul had just released a new album “Grey” and has since been touring and promoting in different parts of the country and has a twitter account. A year later taking another look at Paul he has opened for David Archuleta a couple of times. The Jonas Brothers in a podcast named Paul’s “I Only See You” as their favorite song at the time. ITunes has also spotlighted Paul as “Who We’re Listening To” and “What’s Hot” as well as “Men We Love”. He can be heard on the South by Southwest playlist and in the background at Borders. Benton Paul is a growing presence in the music world, if you haven’t heard of him yet; chances are it won’t be much longer til you’re listening to his songs. Paul’s success is more evidence that using new media works as an effective marketing tool and that social networking really is a growing force itself.