By Walter Price
So, it looks like Sebastian Bach took to the air of Miles “The Shoe” Shuman’s radio show to rant a bit at his Facebook likers about their true purpose for following him on social media’s crazy “I Can’t Quit You” monster.
The pointed words were in reference to Bach only selling 4-5,000 copies of his recent Give ‘Em Hell title.
I have over 800,000 people that like my Facebook page, that read every word I write on my Facebook page – over 800,000 – and yesterday, it said.75,000 or 80,000 people are talking about it,’ Bach tells the radio host. ‘I would like to thank the 5,000 out of the 800,000 that got my record, and I would like to ask the other 795,000 people, ‘Why are you on my page? Are you there to look at the pictures? Is that why you’re there? ‘Cause that’s simple. If that’s what you want, I’ll put some pictures up, or whatever.’ But I have no clue, when it says 800,000 people and 70,000 people today are talking about this, what are you talking about? What? Like, what are you talking about? [Laughs] I don’t get it. Like, what? What? What? ‘Oh, he’s got a new record out. I’ve loved him for years. I’m not gonna buy that.’ [Laughs] I don’t get it. I don’t understand. I don’t get it. I don’t know why you’re on my page. Like, for what? Why? What? [Laughs] I totally don’t get it.
This is something that has had me thinking the past year or so. Do your social media sites really do that much for record sales in the long run? Well, maybe.
“My Lord I have done so much promo for #GiveEmHell Today I am DELIRIOUS! If I listed all of it, your phone would melt!” – Sebastian Bach (Facebook 24 April)
Relentless promotion, interviews and appearances also have little assurance that your album is going to sell like you wished. I want, would love, to say that it always boils down to if what you’re selling is any good but that isn’t even close to the truth either.
Social media has obviously had massive effects on the music industry, but as with any marketing activity, people are asking to see the numbers. The Next Big Sound, a New York-based music data and analytics company, recently conducted a study exploring every facet of the effects of social media on record sales. Using data from the past three years, the study explores causality and correlation of album sales and social media.
The study found that Wikipedia page views, Internet radio impressions, and Last.fm plays showed the highest correlation of digital album sales during the first week of an album’s release. Wikipedia is consistently on the top of the list, which The Next Big Sound believes is attributed to consumers’ need for more information on artists before they invest in their music. (Sprout Social)
Here is what it is, I’m still a huge believer in the power of radio. Even with its ugly self-serving ways. The internet will certainly get your music heard when corporate juggernaut radio stations aren’t playing your current sounds but you need that radio exposure still today as you did before the internets distracted us all. Social media and radio outlets need to work in tandem for you to see huge sales.
I doubt Mr. Bach would have sold what he did the first week if it wasn’t for social media exposure and I bet a million he’ll sell more when he hits the road. Doing what he does best. Blast the faces off festival audiences around the world. That’s how you do it man.
As for followers on your band-pages, the truth be told. They are generally good-time rubberneckers, gawkers and mostly curious kind folks just wanting to have a glimpse into your world. Doesn’t necessarily mean they like, want, need or can afford what you’re selling.
So what did we learn from all this? Exactly.
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