The independent artist and social media

Earlier this evening I attended a performance by Aaron Strumpel at my church. Talking to the musicians afterwards, I was reminded of several ways that modern technology is changing the music business. Yeah, there’s tech impacting performance, but that’s not really what’s got me jazzed right now. No, it’s the way the music business is transforming due to social media.

Artists like Amanda Palmer and Zoe Keating have carved a living out of the modern music business. They’ve mastered an evolving toolbox that revolves around social networking. Interweaving websites & blogs with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, KickStarter, Patreon, along with such classics as email. With a blend of genuineness and talent, they’ve built a worldwide fan base who delight in any opportunity to assist these artists they love. Ultimately, the key is a genuine delight in their fans. By loving them, taking pleasure in the interaction, these fans are passionately in love.

In Amanda’s book she talks about selling 10,000 albums (which her label defined as failure) and 10,000 Kickstarter investors. In so many ways, 10k is not that dramatic. But she’s been able to leverage and engage that audience. If she was simply making a living, that, to me, would be glorious success. However, she’s been able to launch some very innovative and novel projects. A success beyond measure, in my eyes. And her audience is intimately involved, more than the fundraising. An additional layer of richness.

This plethora of tools speaks to opportunity. Opportunity which excites me; I see great things arising. And I both look forward to witnessing the glory of what’s coming, and taking part. For I always seek to be part of cool things.