Things have certainly changed in the industry since the days of posting tapes to the record executives and hoping they’d listen and like it. The ways to connect with music have even transcended merely listening to it in its many forms. The advent of streaming meant that those without a record label could still push their singing talent onto the masses more easily and directly than ever. In fact, there have always been countless ways to connect with artists, musicians, their messages, and the worlds their bands have created without picking up their their music per se - and more and more new ways are getting invented thanks to the internet.
Ed Sheeran made a much-publicized
appearance in a small role in Game of Thrones in 2017, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac reprised her role as a fictional version of herself in the eighth series of American Horror Story. Britney Spears starred as a potential "mother" in How I Met Your Mother, Bon Jovi starred in the film New Year’s Eve, while City and Color and Fall Out Boy have both performed as themselves on One Tree Hill, while Demi Lovato guest starred on Grey’s Anatomy as a patient. Musicians appearing on TV shows and in films can work on two levels. Firstly it can diversify their offering as a performer and show that they are more than just musicians, but it also helps reach out to those who might not traditionally be fans of theirs. By connecting with a different fanbase, they could soak up some fans of their acting who may move over to their music, and could even repurpose them for a different generation of fan. Musicians appearing in entertainment shows how connected the worlds are.
You can even find jackpots
connected to the music industry with a series of licenced online slot games that feature bands and artists in the music industry. For example, Guns N Roses have lent their likenesses and songs to the world of online casino games for a slot game that features on Mr. Green casino. We have also seen bands in other video games. 50 Cent has several third person shooter games under his belt developed by Swordfish Studios. Frankie Goes to Hollywood have a video game set in Liverpool and featuring a series of minigames. KISS have not only inspired episodes of Family Guy and comic books
, but are the driving force behind KISS: Psycho Circus: Nightmare Child, a video game. Of course, the main way in which you can engage with a band beyond their music is by attempting to follow in their footsteps. Whether this is through Singstar, Just Dance or Rock Band, interactive games exist to allow fans of the bands and artists to attempt to replicate their songs in some way or another.
Engaging with musicians in such a digital and hyper-social world means that they are able to showcase themselves as personalities as well as succeed with their music. This means that musicians can use the many digital avenues to build stronger followings, and allow these followings to build communities of support for them. That’s possibly the greatest development in music since the days of needing a record label.