Web 2.0 and the Internet in general has had a massive effect on the music industry. If you need proof, let me point you to a short list of examples that are sure to ring a bell.
- “Pay What You Want” album pricing structures pioneered by Radiohead
- Popularization of indie music acts, such as OK GO thanks to the treadmill music video and Jonathan Coulton’s goal to write and release one song every week on Myspace
- And the biggest elephant in the room – digital piracy – which was first brought to the forefront by Napster and its subsequent legal issues
The latest example of the Internet’s effect on the Music Industry is quite amusing. As a result of the Rickrolling Internet meme phenomenon, Rick Astley is currently being considered for an award at the MTV Europe Music Awards along with Weezer and Snoop Dog. The reason is simple – over the past year countless eyeballs have seen the music video for his 1987 single “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
As we all know, word-of-mouth is considered to be the holy grail of marketing because audiences consider the opinions of friends, colleagues and peer leaders to to be more reputable than other forms of marketing like paid advertising. In the past, word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) was great but difficult to scale, but today social media has put WOMM on steroids – and the impact stuns me sometimes. Who would have thought a guy that recorded a catchy yet mediocre pop song 20 ago would be on the tip of everyone’s tounge today and be on the short list for an award to boot? These are crazy times!