Does YouTube Help or Hurt Artists?

Monday November 08th, 2010 / 10:59 Written by

youtube1For this Finding the B-Side discussion, I’m adding a topic that I’ve heard discussed more frequently lately. The question is simple – does YouTube help or hurt artists’ album and concert sales?

I clearly understand both sides of the debate. On the one hand, it could be argued that because YouTube has such a high volume of daily users, posting songs or performances on that site is a great way to market the artists’ work. As I introduce artists on Finding the B-Side, I oftentimes look for YouTube video footage to show you just how good their music really is.

On the other hand, some argue that because YouTube videos are free, listeners will have less of an incentive to purchase the actual songs or a ticket to see the artists’ performances. I can empathize with the folks who say watching YouTube videos should not replace a real listening experience because I still purchase entire albums and I will attend a live concert at the drop of a hat (but those are whole different conversations).

As always, these discussions are much more fun when you all chime in. So, what do you think? Does YouTube help or hurt artists’ album and concert sales?

Mimi

About the author

I'm the editor of Finding the B-Side.

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3 Comments on “Does YouTube Help or Hurt Artists?

  • I think youtube ultimately helps artists. Sure, there is a risk that people might not buy the music if they can hear it for free on youtube, but that’s a risk that’s going to exist anyway with the emergence of digital music sharing/downloading etc. I think an artist who can utilize youtube well only helps spread the word about his music. Hey, look at what it did for Dondria and Justin Bieber, right?

  • I know this discussion was posted months ago but im just coming across it and felt the need to respond. I think you have to consider the source and the purpose. Youtube has been great for artists to be discovered and also to release new material to see the response. For marketing purposes it helps as an avenue to test the potential of new material. Any artists that has a insightful and thoughtful marketing agent could skillfully use youtube as an advantage without diminishing ticket sales. If they release just enough and not saturate the net with the material, it will leave people wondering what else the artist as to offer.

    On the other hand…..it has made the music industry as a whole LAZY! Now people expect to be discovered off of youtube and have very little training in performance/business. So you get these wonderful voices from someone sitting at home in front of their computer but they can’t deliver a full concert because they are not properly trained or conditioned or have any type of industry etiquette.

    So does youtube help or hurt artists….YES AND NO….it could help gain greater exposure but it could also gain premature exposure to those that are not ready and have not “paid their dues” and climbed their way up the ladder in the industry.

    Just one perspective……

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