Social media and music have both witnessed rapid evolution over the past decade.
Acquiring music habits has changed, and how we get our music has completely shifted. Where previously you could share music files from peer-to-peer sites like LimeWire, Bearshare and iMesh, now there are paid-subscription alternatives available on our mobile devices that grant us access to millions of songs at our fingertips for a very reasonable price. This has resulted in a decrease in physical media sales, dropping from 132 million sold CDs in the UK in 2009, to 32 million in 2019. Services like YouTube and Soundcloud have also done a great job at giving their audiences agency over their music through personalised, curated, and branded playlists.
Music artists, as well, are uploading their projects to online streaming platforms and speaking to their fans directly through their social media platforms. In the era of online streaming, music artists are no longer confined to limitations of physical mediums, which is why there has been an increase in the length of albums from popular artists, and singles are getting shorter. Reports state that the average length of a #1 song in the 80s was close to five minutes, however, since 2009, we’ve seen a gradual reduction, clocking in at around three minutes.
One reason is that modern listeners tend to listen to shorter tracks as they enable them to cover a larger number of songs and increase the chance for these tracks to be added to curated playlists, thereby increasing the number of streaming numbers
It’s this combination of music being released strategically on online streaming platforms, combined with how fans consume it, helps reveal how much of an impact social media has on the music industry.
In this part, I covered my thoughts on social media and its effect on the music industry. Join me in the next part of this blog to conclude my views.
Amine Mneimne is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me