November 12, 2010

CBC Radio 3: Guide to Social Media for Music

CBC Radio 3 presents the "Guide to Social Media for Music" radio documentary with interviews from Tokyo Police Club, The Pack A.D., and Kemp Edmonds.


Listen to my final project as part of my Alexis Mazurin internship in the form of a short radio documentary, exploring the trend of social media use in music today for CBC Radio 3.

Exploring the emerging and continuing relationship between social networking in the music industry is very relevant, especially from the point of view of musical artists and fans alike in radio music land.

Social media is fast becoming a more and more important trend and topic in the music industry as it changes the way artists produce, distribute, and promote their craft. It is an interesting, complex issue in the larger frame of change in art through technology.

My 8-minute radio documentary features interviews with Graham Wright from Tokyo Police Club, Becky Black and Maya Miller from The Pack A.D., and BCIT Social Media Instructor Kemp Edmonds. They all gave interesting stories and thoughts about how to use social media for music.

Here are the 5 basic themes of social media in music I explored:

1) Use the tools.
Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc. are all powerfully useful tools for musicians to interact and reach a wider online audience. CBC Radio 3 itself, besides being an online radio station, is a social networking site for music with fans and artists at the core.

2) Harness the power.
Bands and artists now have the opportunity to more easily manage and contol their own image, music, promotion, and distribution online using social media tools efficiently, if they wish, without farming it out to a third party or relying on management and record lables.

3) Brand yourself.
Artists have to be thoughtful and careful in maintaining who they are and what their music represents. This power requires responsibility. Managing your presence thoughtfully online is integral.

4) Have personality.
Musicians who successfully live online have a social networking presence and space that reflects their own real life personalities and manners, which allows them to best interact genuinely with their fans.

5) Connect with fans.
Social media tools used for art can give off a cold, awkward vibe if the artist or band fails to create a digital environment that allows their fans to feel apart of their process and music themselves without just selling their product.

These are 5 Canadian musicians on Twitter to learn from:

@diamondrings: As a popular international artist, Toronto pop star Diamond Rings does a great job of updating his fans on his world travels with interesting nuggets of information. Most importantly, his tweets are funny, charming, and worth following. Reading his updates, you get some insight into the mind of a musical artist but also, a sense of hanging out with the guy.

@saidthewhale: Vancouver rockers Said the Whale are a lot of fun offline and that translates well online. They are part of a vibrant music scene in Vancouver and often highlight other artists in their community with a ton of @ replies that really give off the positive vibe they exude in real life at their shows. They are very good of being themselves online and that's what makes them so sociable.

@danmanganmusic: Singer/songwriter Dan Mangan plays the role of hard driving musician on the road right on the mark. He updates the status of his tour and shows with great dedication. His constant check ins are great for his fans to keep track of him and where he's playing along with info about last minute tickets.

@teganandsara: Having attained a certain level of success and with over 100,000 Twitter followers, Tegan and Sara have wisely maintained a playfully casual presence online. Their updates feel like extras for fans. The duo's tweets are often engaging and they always interact with fans through questions and shout outs. They remain relatable in translating their stage banter into 140 characters very well.

@deadmau5: Toronto DJ and producer Deadmau5 is absolutely prolific online from his massive Facebook page to his Ustream. His Twitter is no exception as he has created a massive online profile tailored to his specific personality. Despite the large nature of all this, he keeps it personable with clever remarks that comes off as very intriguing and fun.

Photo | Ian Witlen / Jeremy Lim

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