Music to My Ears
Gone are the days of hanging around your local record store, admiring the creative aspects of album covers, and checking your pockets to see how much money you have or need to make the purchase. Technology has certainly catapulted the way we buy and listen to music as well as how our musical preferences can be followed and shared. The physical aspects of the medium have completely changed as well – vinyl (or records), 8-track tapes, cassettes, CD’s, and now digital via your .99 cents purchase from iTunes. The movement to the digital world has impacted the entire make-up of music and well as the musicians themselves. So how does one stay up-to-date with their favorite musician? Chances are high that the likely answer is via a social media platform and not your local record store.
Facebook seems to be the platform of choice for many musicians. Admittedly since we are living in a world that is a hurried pace, following your favorite musician’s FB page provides a whole lot of value in terms of one stop shopping. You can get caught up on the latest news, check out their tour schedules, purchase concert tickets, watch some videos, and sometimes get free downloads to their latest releases. You can also share your thoughts with other music fans and with some luck be privy to some inside information about the next tour or a local show in your area.
If you are more in favor of following new music, no worries since there are options for you too. Blogs such as Hype Machine which is an aggregate of music from around the world showcasing new releases from all genres and also providing concert and tickets information too. FlavorPill is another one that covers all the major cities across the US as well as Earmilk which caters to smaller bands. All of these, I might add, had no meaning to me until this writing but proof is in the pudding that social media is influencing all kinds of music outlets that did not exist just a few short years ago.
What’s on TV? Oh Sorry, I Wasn’t Paying Attention
An interesting study was just released by Brian Solis that says three out of 10 people watched a TV show because of something they read or saw on a social network. It further examines the need for people to feel connected and share usually while they are engaging in TV itself. These statistics lend themselves to the theory of constantly multitasking while doing any and all things. Is this behavior just the result of the digital age or simply the world that we have created and live in? If in fact we believe that the most active age group participating in social media is the under 30 crowd (which can be debated) does this mean that they have shorter attention spans or that they just have the ability to consume more data all at the same time? One could argue that when watching television in conjunction with other online activities the viewer not being 100% engaged could have that channel on as background noise or simply because there is nothing else on the networks that are of interest. All these factors make for a challenging scenario for television marketers and bridging the gap between social activities vs. actual viewing and it continues to unravel.
Let’s Catch a Movie
I am going to reference Brian Solis once again in this area since the study has produced such interesting data. We are all familiar with public service announcements aired at the beginning of most films today asking the audience to please not use their cell phones during the show. As we have probably all witnessed this usually falls on deaf ears since 55% of moviegoers have texted during a movie and nearly half would be interested in going to theaters that allowed texting and web surfing. Wow – really? Of course not all participants agree with this as I could definitely see myself in the “I don’t agree” group. Be it old school way of thinking but if I am going to make the effort to drive to the theater and pay money to sit in my seat, my attention would be on the movie only and would probably be a little disturbed if my experience was forced to be different. I am all for the human aspect of social media and feeling connected, but I think I could feed that need either directly prior to the show or immediately following– but then again that would challenge the definition of “real time”. I have read many articles referencing that social media is a form of entertainment in itself. Perhaps the next time I visit the area of the entertainment industry and the impact of social media it will be listed as a separate category of all its own.
Do you miss vinyl records? Do you multitask when watching television? Let me know your thoughts.
Until next time …