Occasionally you still read sensationalist headlines about “The Facebook Killer” or “The New Myspace,” but we’re finally starting to move past the era of “new” social networks.
Facebook isn’t cool anymore. People obviously still use it. But it’s to feed their addiction.
No bands have ever “broken” on Facebook. And they won’t. Facebook chose early on that it wasn’t going to be Myspace. It wasn’t going to be for music.
Musician Pages are nothing more than a quick legitimacy checkpoint. And to see how “popular” you are. Or rather, if I should pay attention.
But numbers can be gamed and bought.
After Facebook drastically reduced Page reach and now force Page owners (broke ass musicians) to pay to reach their fans, the importance of the Musician Page is dying fast.
What’s next? People are asking about (and some are creating) ANOTHER social networking site that’s music centric to be “The Next Myspace.”
But it will never catch on.
The social networking behemoths are over. They’re bulky and clunky. Last decade.
Now we’re about apps.
Instagram. WhatsApp. Snapchat. Vine. Tumblr. Reddit. SoundCloud. Ways to connect quickly and to accomplish a very specific purpose or scratch a very specific itch.
Even dating websites are history. Tinder solved that. If you don’t think OKCupid or Match.com will be more Tinder-esk in a couple years you probably think Downloading mp3s is still the future.
We’ve shifted the majority of our focus to our phones if you haven’t noticed. Those who do all their Facebooking and Tweeting from their Desktops are over 35. Gen Y is phone centric.
And that’s the future.
SoundCloud is the closest app to be able to scale with music. It’s mobile. It encourages interaction, timestamped commenting, virality and, most importantly, constant content.
SoundCloud sorts your songs chronologically (when you released them on SoundCloud) and you have to pay if you want to feature anything else at the top of your profile.
But this is because it’s not meant for album campaigns, but constant creation. Remixes. Alternate versions. Interviews. Podcasts. Radio programs.
That’s what fans crave these days. Constant content. Why do you think YouTubers release a new video EVERY WEEK?
But SoundCloud isn’t the new Myspace either. Sure, it is music-centric, unlike most of the other social networks, but it’s not going to be the default landing page for anyone.
There isn’t a NEED for a new Myspace because now everything is connected.
SongKick grabs shows from everywhere and integrates to Spotify (and millions of other websites). SoundCloud integrates with BandPage to Facebook and elsewhere. BandPage, SongKick, BandsInTown, ReverbNation and GigPress all send show info to Google’s side bar.
YouTube is the default place to quickly check out a band’s music. Spotify is for those who want to dig deeper and star favorite songs. The Facebook Musician Page is to publicly acknowledge that you dig the band. And the band’s official website is (and has always been) the spider to the musician web.
ReverbNation is a joke. It’s for ReverbNation employees to make money. Any band who focuses their promotional efforts or spends any money on RN is wasting their time and money. I roll my eyes whenever any band shouts “We’re #1 in our city on ReverbNation.” RN is for the lowest common denominator and for musicians who are too lazy to actually put in the effort to figure out what the BEST tools to use are. RN has the most tools, but they’re far from the best at anything. It tried to be the new Myspace, but it got too greedy and territorial. Instead of letting bands and fans customize or claim any kind of ownership, it forces everyone to pledge allegiance to ReverbNation in the form of email signups, account creation, annoying pop ups and forced logins.
Check the top ten charts on RN for the US for all genres. You’ve heard of maybe 4 of the bands. Blondie and Chaka Khan make the list.
As more companies start teaming up to connect the data, the less work fans need to do to get information.
But the more work bands, managers and labels need to do to keep up.
Photo by MissCassanova from Flickr used with the Creative Commons License
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of Ari’s Take. He is hosting the free Ari’s Take Music Business MeetUp in Hollywood on March 29th at the Hotel Cafe. Sign up here. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake