Music Industry Builds Fan Base Through Technology

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22 June, 2014

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From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

Technology is creating major changes in the music industry. Music lovers listen to and buy music on the Internet. They

can watch live concerts of favorite artists online. And music makers as well as music industry officials use social media to reach and increase public interest.

Nick Sherwin is the founder of the band — Suburban Skies. He says 21st Century technology permits a band to control its own future.

"Social media is a wonderful thing, and being able to control your own art and not be signed by a record label — to be your own record label — is liberating."

Sherwin says the Internet and social media have created possibilities for musicians. He says the new way to success is to give visitor more than one type of experience.

"Some most important thing is content. You have to have songs, videos to be able to get up and do this. But I think it is extremely important to do shows to build your brand, to build your reputation," Sherwin said.

Music industry officials discussed the future of the business during an international conference in Los Angeles, California. They said musicians are choosing to perform live across the country, following the drop in CD sales in the United States.

Rob Light is head of music with a creative artists agency. "The majority of the income for artists now is coming from the live marketplace."

Along with the popularity of live music there has been an explosion in the number of music festivals, these events are advertised on social media.

Pasquale Rotella leads Insomniac, a company that produces electronic dance music festivals in several countries.

"Someone could make it in their bedroom and put it out there. People can gain fans that way, online without anyone's help, and that has absolutely helped the growth of dance music," said Rotella.

Bob Pittman leads the radio organization — Clear Channel Communications. He says music lovers are still listening to the radio, although there are new ways of finding music. He says 70 percent of Americans say they discover new music from what they hear on the radio.

But Rob Light says radio will soon be a thing of the past.

"I do not believe that terrestrial radio is going to be as relevant to a 12-year-old today in five or six years, and if you are going to look forward, I think they are going to get information from other places and other sources," he said.

Nick Sherwin is not worried. He just wants to reach everyone who likes his style of music with the help of the Internet.

And that's the VOA Learning English Technology Report. For more technology stories, go to our website testbig.com. Give us a like on the VOA Learning English Facebook page. Follow us on twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Jonathan Evans.

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