The BusinessWeek article on the MySpace generation left out a very important example of how online communities and mp3 downloads are changing the face of music. The band Arctic Monkeys quietly made history when, without an album release, their debut single hit number one on the UK charts.
Downloads and a presence on MySpace helped fuel this rapid success. Mainstream US media has not picked up on this story yet, but this is an accomplishment that even uber groups like the Beatles or U2 cannot claim.
From Artic Thrilling:
The press, radio and television were almost circumvented entirely in the group's audience-building process. MuchMusic recently declined an offer to interview the band. The Arctic Monkeys are the first real breakthrough act of the download era.
All this while Sony pisses off their customer base with their CD rootkit issue. This is a bad time for Sony to pull a Dell (not that there would be a good time).
As a musician, it is already possible to write, record, and distribute music without signing a record deal at all. Now bands can connect with their potential fans, too. The proliferation of widely available high-speed internet access coupled with the current crop of creative young people in British music has heralded a new era of low-cost, mass-market, musical fandom.
And to think, well before Sean Fanning was in college, it all really started with the Grateful Dead. “What a long, strange trip it's been.”
Hat tip to PSFK.