Leveraging Technology In A Digital Age

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Breaking a band isn't what it used to be. Once upon a time, a band would form; they'd grind it out on the local club circuit and shop demos while perfecting their skills, hoping to be noticed both by fans and by the industry. The gatekeepers of success were often playlist managers at radio stations and record company executives but with the rise of the internet; particularly social networking systems and new methods of media distribution the mold is starting to break.

To wit, the Arctic Monkeys. The Arctic Monkeys were a small band in the UK, who after just a few live gigs, started burning their own demo disks and just handing them out to fans. Their popularity quickly grew from there. Fans soon began to convert their music back into digital formats to share with other prospective fans. The band, to their credit, didn't mind at all, telling Prefix Magazine in an interview "we never made those demos to make money or anything. We were giving them away free anyway — that was a better way for people to hear them. And it made the gigs better, because people knew the words and came and sang along." Soon enough a fan made them a page on social networking site myspace.com which figured heavily in the band's developing renown. In an interview with Prefix Magazine, the band said, "[When we went number one in England] we were on the news and radio about how Myspace has helped us. But that's just the perfect example of someone who doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. We actually had no idea what it was."

Another band that has discovered a new way to make technology work for them is Ok Go, a band from Chicago. OK Go's ascent has been somewhat more traditional. With support from established rock outfit They Might Be Giants and exposure on NPR's This American Life, the band released its first self-titled album in 2002 which charted in the UK and they even managed to have a track find its way onto a popular video game. Where the band's innovation and thus their relevance to this article lie are their use of videos..and not the MTV kind.

The band has a knack for creating unusual videos that they distribute over the internet in various ways. First with the video for "A million ways" which helped to propel their first album's sales and their Ping Pong Instructional Video as well as a contribution to the Federal Truth In Music program. For all their efforts however, they remained largely below the cultural radar until July 31st, when they released a video for their song "Here it goes again" which has subsequently gone on to become one of the most downloaded video on the internet. Choreographed by Trish Sie, a former professional ballroom dancer, and sister to lead singer, the video features members of the band in a carefully synchronized routine on multiple treadmills in time to the music of their song. The video recorded over 1 million views in the first six days on viral video archiveYoutube.com earning the band an invite to perform it live at the MTV video music awards and propelling their album back into the charts. Since the VMA performance, sales of the album & single have skyrocketed, particularly on the iTunes where, as of September 5, 2006, the single has reached #12 and the album #2. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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