Lady Antebellum, Reba, Oak Ridge Boys blog it up
Jessica Phillips | June 15, 2009
Ahh, the wonders of technology. Back in the '80s and '90s, fans would brave crowded lines for hours with their trusty 8x10s and Sharpies to have a brief conversation with superstars like Reba McEntire and The Oak Ridge Boys ; now fans can find out the most minute details of the stars' daily lives from the comfort of their homes. Want to see what Reba thought about CMA Music Fest this year? Log onto her twitter or website blog.
A recent Washington Post article discussed the different country music audiences, and how only about 50% of country music listeners use the internet at home. Naturally, the older the listener, the less likely they were to use the internet to find new music. Music Row seems to be struggling in how to best use their marketing money to reach both the younger audiences and the older ones. One (pathetic) attempt to bridge this gap is to simply sign younger artists who appeal to the younger (i.e., raised-on-internet) generation.
The talented trio Lady Antebellum was created through the internet. As stated in the article, singer Hillary Scott discovered Charles Kelley on MySpace: She learned of him while visiting the MySpace page for his brother, singer-songwriter Josh Kelley. Scott recognized Charles Kelley one night in Nashville, introduced herself and Lady Antebellum was born (Kelley's friend Dave Haywood rounds out the trio). They use social networks regularly to update their fans on all their activities.
While this marketing move works well for younger artists who grew up on the internet much like their fans, I think it's better to just sign talented artists-regardless of age. Then teach the artists to use these social technologies if they want to make these part of their marketing--or hire someone to blog for them, as some artists do. It's great to see more established artists like Trace Adkins and Reba catching onto the Twittering, blogging, Facebooking wave (and writing their own personal blogs and Twitters). It's a smart career move, and a great way to help artists who have created bonds with older fans to connect with their younger fans as well.