What Ariana Grande Can Teach Indie Musicians About Social Media

The Grammy’s have historically been the biggest night of the music industry, awarding those hard working and best selling musicians and albums. But something has changed. Are the Grammys a symptom of something larger happening in the music industry or are a result of a change already happened?

Let’s look at Ariana Grande, one of the biggest pop stars of the moment. Her two albums this year, "Sweetener" and “thank u, next” have made her one of the best streamed and best selling artists of the year. She doesn’t abide by music industry norms and takes to social media frequently to talk directly to her fans. This year, she chose to stay home and not attend the Grammys.

This decision is yet another way that Grande is shunning the traditional music industry norms.

These norms are challenged in the method and manner in which musicians now interact with their fans. People no longer want to be spoken to, they want to be part of the conversation. Fans want musicians who are authentic. They want to make a connection with a musician and be a part of the musical journey from conception of album to on tour.

People no longer want to be spoken to, they want to be part of the conversation.

So, what does this mean for indie musicians?

Streaming and social media have totally changed the way that musicians and fans can interact with each other. Each time Grande tweets, it’s a party. Millions of fans show up to engage with her in the hopes she will like or comment on their comment. Unsigned musicians can use this to their advantage in the way they interact with their own fans. Do you keep them at arms distance, only leaving esoteric quotes on your latest Instagram post?

Maybe it’s time to invite them to the music conversation. Open up and let them see your process.

As for the music industry at large, they are beginning to respond in turn to this change. Large companies like Capitol Music Group are hiring new video production managers and EMPIRE has also hired heads of content development and production. This is in direct response to fans wanting more interaction with their favorite musicians.

What are your thoughts on this? Is the music industry tapping into something here or is this another phase that will pass?