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Why social media is killing music

There are many reasons why audiences are dwindling for live bands, and social media is one, says Lisa McKeown

Rant alert

I blame social media, I blame Steve jobs, I blame Spotify and the like, I blame spoilt lazy little darlings, I blame the digital age in general, I blame the bubble we all live in.

Why don't teenagers come out to see new bands on the circuit? in short – and in my humble opinion – it’s all of the above and this: musicians are no longer mystical creatures that we worship the ground they float above, they are cap-in-hand on social media and Pledge begging us to please come see them play and pre-buy their music.

This does not incite a riot of mayhem and adoration that creates a sell out show. Music is free. Social media allows access to pretty much every waking moment of a musician’s life. There is just no interest in them until they are on rotation on Radio 1 and Capital (which rock bands rarely are).

A sell out arena show at rock level is a different matter but still the majority of fans are the older generation – my generation.

My advice to rock bands is this: only do this for the music.

It’s a lottery at best that you will make it. If you love to play live and create music and are prepared to juggle it with a day job, this is for you.

If not give up and go home. This sure isn't about the hot ladies in the front row and 'life on the road’.

(As a side note, in Europe the kids are out in force and the adoration is still there, so get your asses over to Europe pronto if you want some fun and an ego boost – but don't expect to make a bundle, just hope to break even.)

Lisa McKeown is a co-founder of Nine Lives management.

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