When you think of how an artist releases music, what do you picture? An artist goes to a recording studio, records their track, and then the label releases it right? Not so much. A majority of musicians do no have a label deal or a recording studio. What do these musicians do? They release their music online on websites such as Soundcloud for free. It cancels out the cost of a label and gives you control of all the content you want to release. However, something interesting happened when these artist starting putting out their content on SoundCloud.
It built a 300 million user community. Musicians started sharing their content and started partnering up to become famous. Some SoundCloud musicians even become successful artist. Chance the Rapper is the first that comes to my mind. This success stems from the use of social media connecting with SoundCloud. SoundCloud can promote underground talent without outrageous cost. However, it can also connect the underground musicians with the best in the industry.
For example, in 2012, Snoop Dogg discovered Polish artist Iza Lach via Soundcloud. He was so interested in what he heard, he flew out to Poland, recorded some sings with the musician, and ultimately signed her to his label (Leslie Horn, June 2014). SoundCloud became the avenue for a star to get recognized by a superstar.
SoundCloud has become important tool for musicians worldwide. Finding hidden talent isn’t the only use for SoundCloud. Huge icons such as Kanye and Drake release songs off of the website. This is unheard of in the music industry. They release their songs exclusively on SoundCloud before iTunes can even claim it.
In fact, this occurred Feb. 28, 2017, when in the middle of night, Kanye West dropped his new song Bed. Within minutes, people were tweeting about it. Why go through a label when you can go straight to the people? This is the trend that is continuing to occur.
Social media can make musicians famous overnight. Advertisers need to start placing ads on these pages if they wish to gain revenues. Label deals will need to incentivize their value over SoundCloud because from what I can tell. SoundCloud has changed the game forever.
Horn, Leslie (Jun. 16, 2014) “How SoundCloud Changed Music Forever” Gizmodo. Retrieved Feb. 28, 2017. Website. http://gizmodo.com/how-soundcloud-changed-music-forever-1588811594
Monroe, Jazz (Feb. 28, 2017) “Kanye West Releases New Version of The-Dreams Bed: Listen” Pitchfork. Retrieved Feb. 28, 2017. Website. http://pitchfork.com/news/71560-kanye-west-releases-new-version-of-the-dreams-bed-listen/