In this essay I will be discussing how digital technologies have developed over the last few decades, how they play a definite role in the music industry and how they have changed the way we listen to music. I will furthermore explore how the use of digital technologies have impacted production and widened an artist’s audience using cross-media convergence and synergy. Overall I will be looking to see whether this has improved the music industry.
Whether it is an independent label or a major label, marketing is one of the most valuable aspects to an artist when they are producing music. Advertising is really important in marketing and since digital technologies have become rife it is so much easier. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are a form of advertising on the internet and bands can use these completely free. They can promote their new music, their upcoming concerts and they can even promote other peoples’ music to give them more publicity. Since these websites have become ubiquitous, music institutions have grown and become one of the more prevalent media categories out there.
Music videos are also a useful feature in marketing. An artist could release an album and release a single from it as a music video 6 months later, and that will cause that song to gain more popularity simply because it is paired with a visual aspect. An example of the effectiveness of marketing and music videos would be the artist Beyoncé, who is arguably one of the most popular artists in present day music. In December 2013 her record label Columbia released an album self-titled ‘Beyoncé’ which was kept almost secret and not many fans anticipated its release. It a simultaneous audio-visual album and Beyoncé’s intentions were to create an ‘immersive experience’ with short films to accompany every single song in the album. It took a lot of production but was met with great success and released digitally to the iTunes store. Furthermore, it only allowed the music videos to be seen if fans bought the entire album which is a good marketing technique as it obviously brought in a lot of money for Beyoncé and her record label. This is a good example of the role of digital technology in marketing because it demonstrates that digital music platforms such as iTunes can get an artist immense publicity without having to use as much advertising.
Moving onto consumption, digital technologies such as radio, television and internet are used to get music to an audience. With this, it could be said that music is the most popular branch of media because it covers every aspect of it including magazines and so on. Music is everywhere. If an artist releases a track, it is then played on all types of media platforms for as many people to hear as possible, with channels such as MTV dedicated just to getting music to an audience and music magazines such as Kerrang and NME. Digital technologies also provide synergy for an