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Are Artist Branded Social Communities The Next Wave Of Music Innovation?

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We all know that the idea, concept, and product known as “social networking” is pretty much here to stay.

Maybe not in it’s current form, because things change constantly. But with more people joining Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin; as well as upstarts like Pinterest and Instagram who beginning to steal some of the spotlight- social media is the new way to communicate.

However, social networking and music is a curious case.

There are tons of independent artists that have benefitted from any and every social network available. Even with everything that the music industry continues to go through financially, major artists and labels are finally starting to “get it” and use these social tools to their advantage.

The bottom line? Music has become a more a socially centered experience.

So it should come as no surprise, that major music artists of all kinds have started to invest in creating their own social communities and networks.

The biggest and most successful example thus far has been none other than 50 Cent, who created Thisis50.com with the intention of having his own social network to rival the likes of Facebook.

Fast forward to 2012 and Thisis50.com has become a full-fledged Hip Hop media website – complete with interview videos, an online store, and major corporation advertisements including Verizon Wireless.

We might be able to say the same thing about GlobalGrind.com, which has also morphed from a social-network centered site into a Hip Hop music and Entertainment industry news forum.

Now, more artists are beginning to take notice, throwing their hat into the social game – most likely with the hopes of either duplicating or surpassing the success of former sites.

It was recently reported on MTV.com , that Lady Gaga has a “Little Monsters” social network in the works. And if any musician would be primed for success with their very own social network, it would be Gaga – having been declared the unofficial queen of social media with nearly 25 million followers on Twitter.

Not to be outdone, artist/super producer Pharrell Williams recently launched I Am Other, a venture that was first billed as a social networking site but has now grown into a “cultural movement” in the word of it’s creator. A video of Pharrell describing what I Am Other will entail is available on YouTube for viewing.

And, there’s also Jay-Z’s lifeandtimes.com, a social site said to be dedicated to style, sports, technology, music and a few other seemingly non-related topics.

In the past decade, music has become something that people don’t merely consume and purchase. And truthfully, smart artists are beginning to take advantage of these digital innovations to create their own web based communities.

We can’t truly say whether all of these ventures will turn into successes right off the back, because there have been more than a few examples of artist and celebrity-branded networking sites that have fallen flat. But, artists like 50, Gaga and Pharrell have done well so far to at least try tapping into the new direction that music continues to go, instead of staying stuck in an old music model and formula.

Happy networking!


  • http://twitter.com/DoseofDeKadent McCray

    I think this is major! Going to check out I am Other… luv it