Wolfgang Gartner States His Opinion On Social Media In The Music Industry
Wolfgang Gartner recently offered his perspective on the current scene's movement relative to its ties to social media. After his 2014 hiatus, Gartner stepped away from his initial electro/house style and moved more towards producing original content that strays from the typical EDM topping the charts today. Since then, the Los Angeles-based producer dropped his massive single “Unholy” and has begun to curate his own School Supplies playlist series.
Through Medium, Gartner weighed in on the state of EDM and the impact social media has on the music industry as a whole. At the mere age of 21, Gartner established himself as a distinguished DJ/producer as well as record label owner. Through numerous main stage performances, various record deals, and a Grammy nomination, Gartner knows what it takes to be a successful artist in the music industry. His perspective on how social media has affected the music industry ultimately raises the question if it’s about music or entertainment, and whether social media’s impact has been a positive or negative one.
“We are now in an age where the artist — their image, personality, online presence, and overall profile — is just as much of a product being sold as the music that artist makes.”
It has become essential for an artist of any genre to obtain significant social media presence in order to considered a successful artist. Nowadays, social media is heavily utilized as a method of building an artist’s career, as the focus has unfortunately shifted from the music to the artist's image. With physical music sales being down and illegal downloading at an all-time high, the product has become the artist and their online identity.
Wolfgang Gartner's home studio.
The online identities of artists is often considered as important if not more important than the music they produce. Gartner accredits Myspace as the beginning of the social media era, stating that the platform was the first to really connect artists and the listeners. The promotion of unreleased music, upcoming tours, and more have become vital to an artist’s career; as a result, social media can make or break an artist’s career as it offers benefits and drawbacks at the same time.
"They assumed identities, they lost their identities, and they made up imaginary identities as part of their strategy for success. Artists were judged based on these online identities, and some fans began expressing these judgements and gravitating more to artists whose online personalities they favored."
While social media can help or hurt an artist’s career, one thing is for sure. Social media has introduced the notions of likeability and sociability when building an artist’s career, as these characteristics are considered as important as the music itself. Before social media, artist’s only had to worry about the music; now, artists are forced to “adapt or die.”
You can read the full Wolfgang Gartner piece via Medium here.
Cover photo via Mixmag