Putting the “Media” in Social Media

Remember Napster and the golden age of free tunes? That’s long gone, but in its place are a smorgasbord of other (more legal and ethical) alternatives. iTunes Ping, Grooveshark, Pandora and the new-to-the-states Spotify are all making listening to, discussing, sharing and discovering music a little bit easier on the masses. As our head copywriter, Sean Connors, put it, “it almost literally puts the ‘media’ in ‘social media.’”

Music, like any art, has always been about more than just the end product; the latest song from the Black Lips isn’t just about the lyrics or the melody – it’s also about who is listening, what they are saying and the fan community as a whole. You don’t need to sit alone in your room listening to records over your headphones because there’s a whole community of people doing the same; why not talk about it through social media?

Listening to music has become more of a communal experience, thanks to music services like Spotify, which just launched here in July. Now you can create playlists and share them with friends or total strangers; now you can live tweet to the world exactly what song you’re listening to; now you can converse with other fans of your favorite band. Your listening habits can be known by others, influenced and maybe even do some influencing of your own.

Sean, as our resident Twitter nerd, recently compiled a 90s playlist on Spotify (note: you have to be a Spotify member to listen to Sean’s totally radical playlist) when he turned to Twitter for some help. What songs would his followers suggest? He got over 50 responses to fortify his own playlist, which he then shared with everybody over Twitter. This is what listening to music has evolved to in 2011 – a social and communal experience. Take off those headphones and take to the laptop; there’s a whole music scene out there alive and well in social media.