Jan 14, 2021

How Social Media Changes Artist Careers

We all know that social media and digital platforms have nowadays a primary and crucial role in how communication is designed and how businesses plan their marketing strategies. And the music industry is no exception. But how can artists take the most out of these platforms? Which are the ones to go for? We share with you our point of view and give you few tips on how to optimise your effort!

Social media rules. And now what?

It’s no secret that social media have shaped our society and culture. From politics to the way we relate to others, from business strategies to advertising, social media has become crucial in determining new trends. In fact, in the last ten years, the predominance of social media and new digital platforms has disrupted every aspect of society, changing our reality today.

As new technologies kicked in, music immediately was involved in the change. Artists and the music industry had to adapt to the new dynamics and evolve not to be left behind. For artists to be heard and known, an online presence is essential. So essential that sometimes one wonders if social media are even more important than music itself.

Nowadays, it is not enough to produce great music to make a breakthrough. It is more important than ever to have a strong online presence and keep users busy and entertained with new content. Artists have to stay up to date by subscribing to music platform newsletters for example and be informed about the next trend. 

Is the trend reserved to “mainstreams” genres?

For Pop acts, building an image has shown to be essential. Physical appearance, fashion, design, videos and so on have always been part of the deal and we can say that social media allow artists to show all of that directly to their fans. Let’s have a look at Dua Lipa’s Instagram account. It is clear how she creates an interactive experience for her fans, giving them material to engage with and share her content.

However, the impact of social media is not relevant for Pop or Rock music only. Electronic music, a genre born in the underground and voluntarily kept underground, has now somehow become more mainstream. And it is deeply dependent on social platforms too. In the last decade electronic music listeners have grown drastically. They are now estimated to be approximately 1.5 billion according to a recent study of the IMS Business Report.

We also see that a huge variety of festivals all around the world take place every season. Clubs are always more numerous and fans are treating DJs and producers like rockstars. They are not seen anymore as the ones who are channeling the right music to create a great party but are perceived as idols to copy and follow.

Who are the artists that can make it without social media?

This transition is for sure linked to how the music industry has changed, with data having a central role in assessing if an artist can become a big name. In fact, for artists, online presence has never been as important as today. If they want to be considered, boost their careers and enlarge their audiences, they cannot escape the digital trap. Only artists who have already established themselves in the past when these platforms didn’t exist yet still have the chance to decide not to be active on social media.

They still use social media to promote themselves (it couldn’t be otherwise as Instagram & Facebook alone are great tools to discover new gigs and promote events) but it is for sure not their main concern. This is undoubtedly linked to the fact that very popular acts have shown largely enough how great they are.

And what if you are a young emerging artist?

The discourse is different for “new faces” of the music industry. In the past five years only, we have seen many new DJs and producers breaking through the scene. In fact, many of them went from almost unknown to “everybody wants to book them” thanks to digital platforms. 

The gigmit band and INES#talent Giant Rooks released their debut EP in 2015 and haven’t done anything but increase their popularity since then. They currently have 34.000 fans on Facebook and they reach over 1,7 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Headliners of the main festivals and clubs have created a name for themselves with an extreme social media activity. They understood the strong impact digital platforms have and have been using them as no others.

Choose your digital platform wisely

If on the one hand social media and digital platforms could be criticised, on the other it is important to understand that the digitization of the music industry can probably not be reversed. Musicians who live from their music need to know how to make the best of it without losing their unicity.

In fact, Spotify, Apple Music and other music streaming platforms have been game changers of the way listeners consume music and of how artists earn money from their music (which could be more “artist friendly” when it comes to revenues).

Let’s have a look at Bandcamp, one of the most artists-friendly existing platforms. During the pandemic, the platform launched the Bandcamp Days and waived its revenue share for artists to get all the profits coming from the sales and to help artists deal with the disruptive impact the crisis has had on them.

PROs & CONs of the rise of social media 

Giant streaming services might not be a huge source of profit for newcomer artists but they do give artists the possibility to build a big fanbase skipping all the hurdles and middle men, which stood between artists and their potential fans in the past. Musicians can now become popular and show their art to such a wide audience without a manager or a label.

Being part of a label makes it obviously easier for an artist to get promoted in a proper way but, in absence of that, musicians can benefit from chances they have never had in the past, especially to reach new audiences. And this is the beautiful part of digital platforms. To be in direct contact with fans, to establish an almost personal relationship with them and to receive direct feedback.

gigmit helps you to reach the next level

The booking process has also changed. It has become more digital and that is why the gigmit community grew so much since its creation. On our platform artists have the possibility to directly apply for gigs even without a manager. This highly simplifies musicians’ lives. 

With over 5,000 festival contacts and 24.524 venues, artists have the chance to get in touch directly with event organisers. They can apply for gigs and other music-related opportunities. With gigmit, artists spare time looking for open calls: concerts, festivals, live streaming events, radio airplays, scouting sessions, promotion workshops or coaching sessions and more are gathered and open every week on gigmit.

By applying for so many opportunities, they increase their chances to get more bookings and ultimately to further their artist career.

How to make the best of your EPK

On gigmit, artists can create a professional EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for future applications and to get visibility to catch promoters’ attention. The Artist Page is key and it is something artists can easily do themselves with only a few steps. They can even build strategies to make the best out of it using analytic data.

Being proactive can lead artists to be booked for hundreds of gigs. In fact, even during these tough times, on our platform there are countless opportunities. We know that right now it seems like everything is in stand by but it is not exactly the case. On gigmit, having an updated, coherent and consistent profile will open you doors that you didn’t even know existed. So be aware! Check the gig page regularly, contact venues yourself, apply, apply and apply for gigs! 

Play it like Benedikt ter Braak, neo-classical act who applied for the Neue Meister sessions powered by Casio. He confessed to the gigmit team that he was the most surprised to have won the opportunity! 

At gigmit we are constantly working to make artists’ lives easier and even during these hard times. We are gathering new opportunities for artists to perform and achieve their career objectives!


gigmit is the solution for you to make the best out of digital tools and to play at countless gigs!
Join us! Sign up as an artist and apply for the many open calls online at the moment.