When I became a fan of music, it was all about buying the music, t-shirts and going to gigs. I remember at school, we all used to pass around cassette tapes to help share the music that we could not live without. Since then, I have found the idea of what makes a music fan has changed a lot. This has been the result of the internet.
The internet has been a game changer on so many different levels including the world of music. This gave musicians/bands the opportunity to get their music out to a wider audience which was awesome for music junkies like me. I have had the chance to hear music that did not feature on UK TV or radio and helped to open my mind to new wonderful sounds. Next came social media which again was a great platform for musicians/bands but this also gave music fans the chance to talk about what songs mattered to them. It also gave the fans a chance to connect with the musicians on a more personal level.
Because of these changes, being a music fan evolved too. Where once we purchased the music and merchandise and went to gigs we now have a bigger responsibility to help share the music that matters to us as we have so many ways to do this thanks to the internet.
As the saying goes ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ and this is true with the promotional power that fans now have. Social media is a two edged sword as it can be used to help unsigned bands get discovered but it can also crush musicians dreams with negative press. I only use my website and social media to give positive feedback as these are people talking a chance to do what they love. Really, who are we to stop that?
I know many bands who work their butts off promoting their music and connecting to their fans through social media. They all have different opinions on the internet and social media. I had the opportunity to ask Matt from YUCA his opinion by asking the following question (click HERE to read my interview with the band):
I know your fans are very important to the band. Do you feel that have more power to support thanks to social media and do you think bands like yourself expect more from them?
‘Our fans are incredibly important to us and we wouldn’t have a career in the music industry if it wasn’t for them. We owe our success to their help. But, Social Media can be misleading. The thought that when you post something the entire world sees it is fantasy. I think a lot of bands live in that dream-world and every once in a while when you hear of a band that just “makes it” from one “tweet”? – It’s those fantasies that musicians and non-musicians cling to but it’s not the norm.
I often feel that Social media is like trying to get to know the opposite sex – just when you think you’ve learned something they change and you have to start all over. But being consistent and attentive to each other seems to have given us the most success. I hope that made sense?
I always have high expectations for everything we do as a band and this includes social media. I’d be lying if every time I posted something deep down inside I’m hoping the “right people” see it, hear it, tweet it, like it – share it. But the reality is that we are a business and we are in the business of engaging our fans thru various methods – social media just happens to be one avenue.
I can’t expect anything from our fans that I am not willing to do myself and this goes for social media as well. I try my best to actively be on all our social media platforms and engaging fan interactions and new posts daily. Its f**king hard as it takes up so much time but our fans are in the same boat, their time is also valuable. All we can do is pay things forward and hope that our fans do the same thing.’
I always love to hear Matt’s view on the world of music as he is someone who really cares about his art. YUCA have a great grasp on social media and I always enjoy reading their tweets when they connect with fans.
Like musicians/bands, I work hard as a fan promoting music that matters to me through my website, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. There are times when I question myself as I am one voice amongst an endless sea of other voices all trying to do the same thing. I guess this is what makes the internet great and at the same time so much hard work. But when I have these moments I remember, I LOVE MUSIC!
I am not sure what other people’s ideas are for being a music fan but mine will forever be an old school rule of buy music, buy t-shirts, go to gigs but now I help promote it with the opportunity that the internet has given me. Or to put it in a simpler way ‘if you like, then support it!’ Go and help support the music that matters to you, it’s your duty as a fan.