Recent technology has really transformed the music industry. I'm sure a lot of artists are still trying to figure out how best to use social media and new technologies for their advantage. One of the new giants that has come along is YouTube.
AbsolutelyGospel.com had a recent editorial on stealing and posting material on YouTube. I have to say it was a little convicting for me. I've been guilty of posting clips of concerts on YouTube and putting ads on them (that's no longer the case). I completely agree with the point of videos of DVDs and events that have been paid for to stream online is wrong.
But with YouTube also comes new possibilities. (I'm not trying to say that the editorial was anti-YouTube. That was not his point, don't misunderstand me.) I was talking to a lady a few weeks ago at a Southern Gospel event. She got to know and learn a lot about artists from YouTube videos. She became a fan watching videos online. With YouTube, artists now have the chance to reach new audiences world wide. Many artists have their own channels that they post to whether that's them singing or behind the scenes glimpses. You don't have to wait until your favorite artist is in your area. You can watch clips of them any time. Now, does it deter people from actually going to the concert? For me, it doesn't. There is a a completely different dynamic and feel to a live concert than watching one via a computer screen. Most people don't stop going to church just because some churches are having live broadcasts.
A lot of times I do take videos during concerts, but the majority of videos never make it to YouTube. It might be because the quality is not good, too shaky, the person next to me is singing along (that happens more than you would think) or if I've heard the artist doesn't want videos posted I won't. But for one reason or another, a lot of them just stay on my computer for my viewing later on. I never mean to take away from the artists by posting the videos I do. I've even had some artists use my YouTube videos for promotion.
There are also moments live in concert that can happen spontaneously that fans would love to see. For example, the recent video of Greater Vision and Mark Trammell Quartet singing the Cathedrals' song "Prodigal Son" allowed fans a glimpse of a great moment that otherwise they would have only read and heard about. Also, for newer fans like myself it's a great way for me to get acquainted and become more familiar with the greats I will never see in person.
YouTube is great for artists to gain exposure. We actually had a relatively new Christian group (not Southern Gospel) at our church recently actually encourage the audience to video and post. I think there is a bit of an added pressure on artists with almost everyone having a video recording capabilities in their pockets now. They never know what will end up online for thousands to see.
YouTube is a giant in social media with pros and cons for the music industry and artists. What do you think? More pros than cons? Or is it doing more harm than good? Would be interested to get an artist's perspective on this.