The Effect of Social Media on the Music Industry

This is a guest post by Ronald Ross.

When was the last time you went to a music store and bought a CD? Or a music player? 

Wait, what? I hear you ask. Well, it’s not your fault. 

The rise of social media and technological advancements in the previous few years have been phenomenal and changed the world by storm, so it was natural that the music industry was going to be changed like never ever. 

The steady decrease in the purchase of physical forms of music storage can be completely attributed to the rise of social media. When one can hear his/ her favorite music by paying low subscription fees on Apple music, Spotify or on plethora of other music services, or for free on YouTube, why would one choose not to? 

As Chuck D says, “Downloadable music is the biggest musical phenomenon since The Beatles, and the music industry is slow to come to grips with that.”

And the music industry has gone from a situation where your song had to be released by a major studio, to a situation where all you need is a good song and good social media promotions. 

Let’s take for example, Shawn Mendes: The mega star, who started his journey through social media, posting covers of various songs and he went from being a social media star to a superstar following his fame in the Vine community.

This is not just one example. Take Justin Bieber. Or Camila Cabello. Or Kate Upton. Or The Weeknd. Or Alessia Cara. Or Troye Sivan. Or Colbie Caillat. 

The list, well, goes on, but I’m sure you get the idea. The music industry has changed in ways unimaginable because of social media. 

So, if you are a new singer, you don’t need to just create good music. No, no, that’s just the first step of many, many steps you’ll have to perform. The road to success has digitized entirely, and you better walk on it. 

Now see, it’s not just the singers and the way we listen to music, which has changed. The music industry has changed, as I said, in ways unimaginable! 

So, if you are someone who loves music as a hobby, and want to say, play an instrument or practice at home using some device, you don’t have to accumulate wealth for buying some instrument which you like. You can simply look for good deals on various social media platforms and voila! You can start your own personal musical journey.

From tutorials to good deals on products, it’s all there. From buying a nylon string for your guitar to looking for the type of guitar you want to play to say, getting bongo reviews, you can get anything. And I mean literally, ANYTHING!

And social media has changed the way we listen to music too. Not just how. But even what.

You have charts of the current music trends like Billboard or Rolling Stone, which have their own lists of top 100 songs at any given time. So, you don’t have to rely on radio for that next eargasm. It’s all out there for you to explore!!

You can be on the lookout for new singers, or get an idea of upcoming popular music or check out new releases, or follow your favorite stars or groups on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or anywhere else and get the latest news on everything: from behind the scenes videos to short promotional clips to glimpses of their personal lives.

By now, if you’re just awed by the impact of social media, and have decided to start worshipping it for revolutionizing the music industry, I’ll recommend waiting a bit longer.

Not all is shiny and sparkling, teeming with galloping unicorns and flying pixies.

Social media has made the discovery of an artist much, much easier. 


But it has also made getting revenues for the same artists much harder, thanks to the super cheap streaming services.

So, it all falls on the singer/group to perform live shows, sell merchandise etc. 

And that too has to be promoted extensively, given the lack of highly devoted fan bases relative to what it used to be a few years ago, thanks to the multiple, multiple options each of us have now.

So, there are perks as well as disadvantages of social media on our lives, and on music. 

You can discover great content, learn new stuff, the singers are discovered more easily than before, and the music is super cheap! 

But then, it’s relatively tougher to generate revenues for the singers out there.

It’s pretty much a mixed bag, but an attractive one at that, don’t you think?

Ronald Ross

He’s been in the music industry since the time he was born, or at least he likes to say so. He’s written various articles on music, he is currently a contributor at He lives in a music studio (at least he likes to say so :D).



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