Ideas for a new online hub for artists
In the SoMe (social media) district of the internet, there appears to be a vacant shop front, ready to welcome a new music-focused hub. In such a hub, music products of all kinds would be neatly presented, instead of drowning in a sea of others. Emphasis would put on unsigned artist promotion, major label artists would not be given special treatment, and it would be possible to stream or buy on Spotify alternatives and other platforms. Ideally, a spectrum of music-related functions would be available, with fair trade merchandise and ticketing without large transaction fees going to a third party. Fans could buy a tour t-shirt using Musicoin, or throw a tip the way of a live-streaming busker. Blockchain musicians could browse music promotion tips or consult music marketing trends, alongside artists releasing on other platforms.
Social media vs. hub
Specialisation and access to a pre-formed community appear to be key to a social media platform’s success (Facebook, for example, had the college campus). Targeting independent musicians, perhaps already part of a collective or in a particular geographic location, with a one-stop-shop offering music industry insights and an amalgamation of their raw material, seems like a sensible move. The term social media, however, conjures up a mental representation of the aforementioned behemoth or its peers, Instagram and Snapchat, which originated as platforms on which to keep in touch with friends, by browsing/commenting on their content and messaging. The idea here though is to be a sort of alternative to artists’ websites (scarcely visited these days): a streamlined, virtual record store where the artist and additional material happen to be present. Fans connecting with the artist in a simple fashion would be the focus, rather than following friends or making new ones (despite this being possible, of course). Maybe you’ll become friends with the artist!
Of course, the more fans an artist has, the less likely they are to see your communication directed at them, so how to get around that? Tipping, long associated with busking, has yet to make its way to the masses on online platforms, but live streamed performances, for example, seem like the perfect arena for it. Imagine your message to the artist appearing at the top of the comments section because you tipped most, and the artist receiving the cryptocurrency tip straight away, instead of it being filtered through a number of parties. A platform like this would also offer artists the possibility to know where their paying customers are located, therefore making it easier to target areas for touring, since revenue from live performances still represents a very large portion of an artist’s income.
Artists’ virtual shopfronts and their interiors are ripe for refurbishment. What the future will bring for the virtual realm is yet to be seen.