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Making it on MySpace - Case Study: Arctic Monkeys
Submitted by showdown on Mon, 09/01/2008 - 03:41.
It is right on Arctic Monkey’s web site:
“It dawned on me that there are no leaders in all this or no plan or scheme, other than what’s unfolding. People understanding it, relating to it, not relating to it but dancing to it, whatever.”
Arctic Monkeys will be and are the first to tell you that the Internet allows an unknown, unsigned band’s music to be heard without the assistance of a record label. This quote reflects the sentiment among artists and fans that major record labels are failing to engage with or cater to music lovers. And this has created an underground music industry coup that has sent unsigned indie bands like Arctic Monkeys soaring to record breaking heights on the charts worldwide.
MySpace and its underground music fans played the biggest role in the band’s success. From the beginning, their web site and their MySpace page not only allowed their fans to download their music, but it enabled Arctic Monkeys to maintain a direct intimate relationship with their fans, which is one of the biggest reasons their music was so rampantly viral on the Internet. When you look at the phenomenon of Arctic Monkeys, it is obvious that the Internet is the root of it all and is forever changing the business of the music industry.
In 2001, neighbors Alex Turner and Jamie Cook asked for instruments for Christmas and both received guitars which they then taught themselves to play so they could form a band with schoolmates Andy Nicholson and Matt Helders. They played their first gig on June 13 2003 and after a few performances they began to record demos and burn them onto CDs to give to their fans at gigs. Because they only had a limited number of CDs, the fans began to rip the music back onto their computers and share it with other fans.
These fan-made demo tapes shared online at sites like MySpace drove Arctic Monkeys to record breaking success without any marketing or advertising and without the support of a record label. Arctic Monkeys is one of the first bands to gain public success on MySpace and are credited by many for permanently changing the music industry and they way new bands are promoted and marketed.
This method was so successful, Arctic Monkeys achieved success on the charts with their very first single, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”, which reached number one on the UK singles chart. In January of 2006, they released their debut album and at the time it became the fastest selling album in British music history. In 2008, Arctic Monkeys took home awards for Best British Album for Favorite Worst Nightmare (which sold over 225,000 copies in its first week) and Best British Group at the 2008 Brit Awards.