Track 3: Don’t Label Me

As previously explored, individual bands stand to benefit from communicating with their fans on social media outlets such as MySpace Music and Twitter. It doesn’t stop there, though. The record labels that pick up bands and support and manage also utilize social media in the modern society to connect with the audience. As the large majority of alt-music listeners are in the younger demographic, social media really is one of the best ways to reach them.

Knowing the Fans

It’s becoming of growing importance for record labels to acknowledge that, while all fans may have equal weight in whether or not they “like” something, all fans are different. Emotionally dedicated fans, sometimes referred to as tribe members, have been found to spend more money towards an artist or a label when they feel an personal or emotional connection to the artist. Labels are having to focus on what and who their niche audiences are, in regards to their individual bands as well as their own personal brand.

The key factor, labels are realizing, is to make social media about more than just promoting new releases. Prior to the onslaught of social media that is now omnipresent, fans of bands would have to meet in person in some previously-coordinated way to talk about their common interests. Social media have made it easier than ever for strangers and friends alike to virtually meet over common ground, and labels have started to take note. At the very least, by having the bands within the label communicate more effectively and consistently with the target audiences, the brand of the labels themselves seems more authentic and fitting with the “cool” and young listeners.

Indie labels, whether they are just taking off or if they are established and thriving, have had the general tendency to focus on niche audiences more than the large and most-well known record labels tend to. Each label has a genre with a niche audience and even more specific niches developing with each band present in the label. Successful indie labels have been able to capitalize on the capability to collect data on audiences in this digital era, to make sure they are targeting the ideal audience in the optimal way.

A Success Story

One such example of this is Mom & Pop Music, an Indie Label started by a former large-label worker who desired more autonomy in his work. This desire for a maintaining-of-the-self has struck a chord with several big names in the indie music scene, helping Mom & Pop grow to be one of the most successful current Indie Labels. Mom & Pop as a label, as well as the bands it hosts, has a strong Twitter presence where they further their current success by engaging with the fans consistently about music releases in addition to interesting things going on with the bands and the label.