[This was just posted on GigaOm. One of the comments cited Last.fm and Pandora as other 'radio 2.0' stalwarts. I agree with that however they have more to do with personal enjoyment than 'breaking' new bands and artists. I haven't heard about a high profile artist debuting their record on Pandora or Last.fm, and it would be a bit weird if it happened. Anyways...]
For decades radio and later, MTV, were the dominant and proven
marketing channels for the music industry. The symbiosis was, on its
face, an elegant one: Radio and video promoted the product for free/fee,
retail outlets sold it, and everyone made gobs of money. Radio, while
still powerful, is no longer perceived as the vibrant marketing channel
for music it once was. MTV certainly isn’t.
They’ve been replaced by the web — in particular, by social
networking communities and blogs. This is Radio 2.0. While I don’t blog
about music as much as I’d like, I still get pitched very regularly by
music promotion companies on new music. I can only imagine how much
music blogs like Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan and bloggers like Fred Wilson get pitched. Moreover, the labels are embracing social networks as a new channel — the EMI/Sigur Ros/YouTube and Warner Bros/REM/
tie-ups are cases in point. Of course Clear Channel and MTV (outside of
the U.S, at least) will still get plenty of world premieres, but I
suspect this will decrease as MP3 blogs and social networks continue to
gain relevance and audiences.
“Tell me something I don’t know,” you may sigh. Well, it’s unclear
that these sites actually generate commerce revenue the way traditional
marketing channels have. If that continues to be the case, then the
artists and labels will have to figure out how to get a big enough
piece of advertising and other revenue streams to warrant “giving”
their content to these new channels. Regardless, we are seeing a
changing of the guard: Maybe Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber is the
new Jann Wenner; Ali Partovi or Dalton Caldwell, the new Bob Pittman.