How Twitter Changed Music

Twitter, with its limited character count and swift updates, might seem an unlikely platform for music enthusiasts. However, over the years, it has significantly transformed the music industry. Let’s explore how Twitter has changed the way we discover, engage with, and create music, highlighting some notable examples along the way.

One of Twitter’s most profound impacts on the music world is enabling direct interaction between artists and their fans. Musicians can now connect with their audience in real-time, responding to their questions, sharing insights, and even collaborating on creative projects. For instance, when Chance the Rapper released his mixtape ‘Coloring Book’ in 2016, he used Twitter to engage with fans, creating a unique and personal connection that contributed to the album’s success. 

Twitter is the go-to platform for breaking news, and the music industry is no exception. From surprise album drops to tour announcements and behind-the-scenes insights, artists have harnessed the power of Twitter to keep fans in the loop. Beyoncé’s unannounced self-titled album release in 2013, with a simple tweet and a link, changed the game for artists looking to create buzz without traditional marketing.

Image Courtesy: The Hollywood Reporter

Music discovery has seen a revolution thanks to Twitter. Users can follow their favourite artists, music journalists, and influencers, providing a curated stream of music-related content. Hashtags like #NewMusicFriday help in discovering fresh tunes. Artists often share snippets or teasers of upcoming tracks, building anticipation and fuelling the excitement of their fans.

Twitter trends and challenges have brought a new dimension to music. Remember the ‘Harlem Shake’ craze or the ‘In My Feelings’ challenge inspired by Drake’s song? These viral challenges often start on Twitter and spread like wildfire, turning tracks into global sensations and propelling them up the charts

Twitter has also become a powerful platform for musicians to champion social causes. Artists like John Legend and Lady Gaga have used their influence to raise awareness about important issues, from climate change to social justice. Music and activism have become intertwined, with Twitter as the epicentre for these discussions.

Artists no longer have to rely solely on record labels for feedback. They can turn to their Twitter followers to gauge reactions to new music or ideas. This immediate feedback loop allows them to make adjustments and refine their art based on real-time responses.

Image Courtesy: Pitchfork

Concert promotion and ticket sales have also been streamlined through Twitter. Artists and venues can tweet about upcoming shows, share pre-sale codes, and engage with fans directly, helping to sell out concerts faster and more efficiently.

Music journalists have adapted to Twitter, using it to share reviews, articles and interviews. It’s a way for fans to stay updated with the latest industry news.

While Twitter itself isn’t a platform for streaming or purchasing music, it has an indirect impact on these aspects. When a song or album becomes a trending topic or is highly discussed on Twitter, it often leads to an increase in streaming and music sales. The social buzz generated on Twitter can significantly boost an artist’s visibility.

-Britney Jones