The Future of Social Media
Questioning whether social media will be around in 10 years seems a little outrageous, right? Perhaps. But to think that social media, in its current form, might not be around in 10 years, probably isn’t that preposterous if you consider the following factors:
- People are getting burned out from constantly being updated on what other people are doing.
- It seems to be becoming less and less interesting over time.
- I don’t think the constant opinionation is going to stop anytime soon. More politics, more social issues, more controversy, more debate… people are avoiding social media because of it now, and it’s only going to get worse.
- The younger generation doesn’t feel the need to be apart of something massive and centralized. They find what they like and adopt it with no need for top-down guidance. They find niches, and pockets, and their own little corners; they’re not afraid to create their own scene.
- Look at the platforms that the younger generation has adopted like Instagram and Snapchat. There’s a lot less public and personal information accessible on them versus Facebook. The kids want control over who sees what. This might cause them to focus more on messaging platforms, rather than social ones.
A virtual reality element will eventually be added to social media platforms, which will likely be revolutionary, but we might run into a lull until that happens.
The end of iTunes is approaching and it’s rumored that we could start seeing signs of its demise as early as 2019. You’ll still be able to listen to your purchased music, and will likely be able to download older music for a while, but the first step will probably be iTunes no longer accepting new music on their platform…Brace yourself, it’s coming.
Before You Get Political From Your Page
For a long time, musicians have provided substantive social commentary on current issues, either through their music, or personal platform; but some changes have transpired over the last few years that I think artists should take under consideration before posting their stance(s) from their artist/band social media pages.
The most obvious reason for not becoming political from your page is the possibility of alienating your fans. This isn’t anything new, and while I do think it’s something to consider, that’s not really where I’m going in this piece.
We’re living in a time of mass polarization, where everyone has an opinion and no one is afraid to voice it on social media. We are constantly bombarded with people’s takes on political and social issues, and it can often feel hard to escape – I’ve disconnected so much with my personal Facebook page because of it.
In the 60’s-90’s, during polarizing times, musicians provided a voice to people who felt like they weren’t being heard. Now we live in a time where anyone can get their message out to the world. The problem is no longer getting it out there, the problem now is trying to take it all in. I don’t mind seeing people’s opinions, but when 8 out of 10 posts are political or social rants, it completely burns me out on the platform and has me looking for an escape.
That escape for me has often been music. Alone in my truck with the volume cranked up, in my bed with my headphones on, on my back porch with a cold one – for me that’s the best way to decompress and I know there are tons of others in the same boat.
I’m not saying to not get political on social media, that’s your decision and do what you feel is right, just remember that a lot of people use your music as an escape from the exact thing that you’re posting about. They follow your band on social media because they dig your music, and your live videos, or show pictures, or posts about your new single, can be breath of fresh air in the muck of everything else in the newsfeed. If you’re outspoken and political in your music that’s one thing, but if you’re not, just consider what your music (and accompanying social media pages) are for people in the current climate. Maybe keep your political/social posts to your personal page, rather than your band/artist page. Maybe I’m wrong here, or maybe it’s just me being selfish by wanting to have something I can indulge in without the divisiveness of politics ruining it.
I’ve already lost the NFL. And it’s not so much that I agree or disagree with whatever stance someone is taking on, or off the field, I’m just tired of hearing about it. Let me watch the game in peace. Music, like sports, can bring people together in spite of one’s differences. It also provides an escape from the constant debate, controversy, and ranting. No need to bring it in via your social media pages, if it’s not already there in your music. Just a thought.
Talent Is Only A Part
Talent is obviously a big part of success, but there’s much more to it. I’ve seen plenty of people with talent, not “make it”. I know, that’s not every artist’s goal, and sure you can chalk some of it up to bad luck, or things out of their control, but I’ve also witnessed plenty of artists who have had more than sufficient talent, not make it due to things that were in their control.
In my opinion, here are the most common reasons artists don’t succeed, even if they have the talent to do so:
- They underestimate how much work and effort it takes become successful. They think all they’ll have to do is write, record, show up and play, and everything else will take care of itself. It doesn’t work like that; even when you’re at the top. You have to grind it out. You have to get in the trenches. It takes ALOT of work to get to the top!
- They underestimate the time it takes. Most artist’s timetable-expectations are way too optimistic. 99% of the time it takes longer than they anticipate. Because of the gap between their expectations and reality, they get frustrated, and give up.
- They don’t treat it like a business. They don’t keep up with the financials, respond to correspondence, game plan, build relationships with their customers (fans), show up on time etc…
- They don’t/can’t capture their talent in the studio. Perhaps the recording is poor quality, or they were taken a bad direction, or their live sound doesn’t translate well on to a track, but if people don’t enjoy your recorded catalog, they’re going to stop listening; regardless of how good your live show is.
- No marketing push. They do nothing to spread the word about their music, or have no budget lined-up to have someone else spread the word on it.
- They’re taking direction from, or working with, someone who has no idea what they’re doing, or is hard to work with, or has a reputation.
- They get a little success, and it goes to their head. All of a sudden they’ve got an ego, and stop doing the little things that got them to where they are.
- The can’t seem to keep a band.
- They get too far in to the party lifestyle and can’t find their way back.
If You Have a Following Somewhere, Let The Right People Know!
If you know you can get at least 30 people out to a show, then trust me, there are interested parties. Contact venues, contact the manager of a big act that’s coming to town, contact festival organizers and make sure you lead your pitch with how big of a crowd you can bring. When they hear something like “my bass player’s brother is on the baseball team there”, or “ I have a buddy who’s in a fraternity there”, or “I have a bunch of people in that town wanting to me to play there”, then that catches their attention. I promise. Yes, they’re looking for someone talented, but they also they’re also looking to sell tickets. If you have both (talent and a following), then why wouldn’t they put you on the show???? But if they don’t know about the crowd you can likely bring, then how can they book you? So make sure you get that info in to the right hands!
Don’t lie about having a following somewhere though. That’s a quick way to never play a place, or open for that person, again.
Easier to be Found, But Harder to Find
With streaming services providing world-wide distribution for artists at the click of a button, there’s no doubt, people having access to your music has never been greater! But with this increased accessibility has come an influx of supply. How do people discover your music amongst everyone else’s?
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.