Author(s)

Heather Aponte

Date Approved

8-23-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Public Relations

Department

Public Relations/Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

FitzGerald, Suzanne

Subject(s)

Sound recording industry;Social media

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purposes of this investigation were to (a) provide the music industry with the research it seems to lack in order to understand (b) how social media will change its field and (c) how it can utilize it. To provide the knowledge necessary to adapt to the shift in musical power, the author will conduct both qualitative and quantitative research. This research includes a preliminary content analysis of comment tone on social media profiles and in-depth interviews. The researcher aims to further the understanding of social media networks and the independent musicians who use them. This will provide the music industry, whether record labels, musicians or fans, with knowledge that will aid in using these websites to their fullest extent. Research revealed that social media provides a platform to expand fan bases and interest existing fans. Despite its prominent use by independent musicians for promotion, record labels are still necessary to reach wider audiences, gain financial backing and extend advertising efforts.

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