Changes in the Music Industry
It used to take a period of time to get under the radar before a major label debut
Do you know what the process is like to make your major label debut as a musician? Some of you may have some idea of what it is like. After a while, you catch the attention of people in the music industry and release your music on a label (indie). And as you know, it takes a while for a major artist to make his/her major debut.
As you know, only a small percentage of people make it to the major label stage, and it takes many years to make a major debut. As a student, you have plenty of time to dream, but as you grow older, it becomes more and more difficult to find the time to be active, and the reality is that many of them gradually scale back their activities.
Changes with the advent of SNS
However, with the advent of SNS in recent years, this process has been changing. The first is that people have begun to create songs and upload the sound files to social networking sites. This has expanded the opportunities for people to get to know your songs, especially by posting them on TikTok and other media where your songs have a high chance of getting buzz.
The number of followers on their social networking accounts gradually increased, and they began to gain a certain number of fans. In the past, it was only possible to get to know a little by little through live houses and street performances, but now there is a possibility to get to know a lot of people at once through social networking. The phenomenon is being replaced by an increase in the number of followers on social networking services, just as fans follow the results of steady efforts in the real world.
Music industry professionals have noticed this change, and scouts nowadays are increasingly approaching musicians by sending direct messages to SNSs. Scouts can easily see how many fans and influences a musician has by looking at the number of followers on social networking sites.
Musicians of the future need “songwriting ability” + “diffusion ability
In the past, musicians only needed to have the skills to create good music. If you could make good music, the number of people who appreciated it would gradually increase, and you could naturally reach your major label debut. However, in recent years, the number of people who listen to music has been decreasing, and fewer people go to live houses. It is a phenomenon that good music can be created but not spread.
In such a situation, SNS is a great medium to spread the word about your music. Therefore, musicians who are able to use SNS to spread their music are getting closer to a major label debut. SNS is also an effective tool not only for spreading the word about a song, but also for conveying the personality of the songwriter. Therefore, it has become easier to gain fans by bringing musicians closer to their fans through daily postings.
By making good use of SNS, it is possible to show one’s own personality in an attractive way, making SNS an indispensable tool for musicians in the future.
Case Study: When an Individual Musician Gains Marketing Skills
How “imase” made his major label debut
Do you know who “imase” is? He is a musician who made his major label debut in about a year after he started making music by making good use of social networking services. His path to his major label debut is as follows.
First, he uploads his music to TikTok. Instead of just uploading a few minutes of music, he first created a song with a few seconds of the chorus and uploaded it to TikTok. Some of these songs became big hits with hundreds of millions of views.
Next, they added an A-melody and a B-melody to the songs that had only the chorus and began to distribute and sell them as a single piece of music. The music industry would not leave a musician with such a big hit on the market, and he made his major label debut only a year after he started making music.
imase’s strategy for social networking
In one of his interviews, he says, “I only wrote the chorus. It’s not that I only made rusty songs, but I could only make rusty songs.
As he has said many times before, he had never produced a song until one year before his major label debut. He says that his songwriting skills were poor because he started out in such a state. In fact, he learned by watching how to produce music on Youtube.
He also says, “I started by posting on social networking sites. “I wanted to find friends in production by posting on social networking sites first.”
I don’t have enough skills myself to distribute one music. So he says that finding friends who can fill in the missing skills is also the reason why he posted his music on social networking sites. In fact, in distributing one of his songs, he even created a music video. The production of the music video was also made with the help of friends he gained from distributing songs on social networking sites.
In this way, they were able to complete a song and distribute it.
PDCA” marketing cycle
imase also says the following about the use of social networking sites. I thought about why some of the songs I uploaded were getting buzz.
imase calmly analyzed what kind of songs were likely to get buzz and reflected the results in his songs. This is a common practice in the marketing industry, but they were using social networking services to perform the so-called “PDCA” cycle. They observed what kind of music consumers were looking for through SNS, and provided the music that consumers wanted.
This is a very different approach from that of conventional musicians. In the past, most musicians tended to be passionate about creating good music within themselves. I make the best music I can. But, I hate to say it, but that was not with the consumer in mind. It would be nice if, by chance, my good music was good music for many consumers, but most of the time that does not happen. This is also the reason why all the music I make is not accepted and disappears.
However, imase is very different in that he pursues the music that consumers want by carefully observing what they are looking for, rather than pursuing the best of his own music. In a sense, such a musician may be a new kind of musician.
Individuals acquiring marketing skills
So far, I have written about the importance of marketing skills in an individual’s life, using musicians as an example. However, I believe that marketing skills are not limited to musicians, but are commonly important for all individuals who try to survive in this world with their personal skills.
The age of social networking can be paraphrased as the age in which even individuals can have their own media. In such an age, the skill to successfully spread one’s skills on social networking sites is extremely important. The Corona disaster and the decrease in direct human interaction are also major reasons to utilize social networking services.
In order to make good use of SNS, it is important to think from a marketing perspective, and understanding how to present yourself in a way that will be well received by the recipient, as imae has done, through many PDCA cycles, will be effective not only in SNS but in many other business situations as well. It should be effective not only in social networking but also in many other business situations.
We hope that many people will learn marketing skills and gain the strength to live on their own.