I was browsing through the top 100 songs on iTunes earlier, searching for some new music. While I scanned the chart, I couldn't help but notice that the same artists seemed to be popping up over and over again- Taylor Swift for example, had four songs featured on the chart. And some songs, such as Carly Rae Jepson's famous "Call Me Maybe" and Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" have remained on iTune's top 100 list for months. The question is: how did these artists do it?
There's no denying that social media plays a huge role in pop culture. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr influence what movies we see, how we dress, what restaurants we try, and, evidently, what music we listen to. And many artists are taking advantage of this. Lots of artists get things trending, promote their new music, and post coverage of interviews, concerts, and performances. Not only do artists use these sites to promote their work, but they also use them to connect with fans- some will even give shout-outs to fans or follow them back on Twitter. So those artists who take advantage of social media are already a step ahead.
Another, simpler, way music is spread is by word of mouth. Admit it- if a friend keeps sending you a link to a YouTube video, you'll be at least a little curious as to what its about, right? (Think back to last years "Friday" incident.)
Radio has always played a major role in the music industry as well- after all, it's where a great majority of us hear top 40 hits. For example, a couple of months ago, I heard Maroon 5's "One Night" single on the radio. Two days later, it was the #1 song on iTunes. And like social media, the radio connects with people- lots of stations allow its listeners to request songs. Many stations, like 107.9 The End, even broadcast a "top 10 countdown" once a week.
So maybe it's not so much the acoustics in the background or the falsetto notes the singer hits that determines a hit. Perhaps it's just the singer's use of technology, promotion, and ability to connect with people that leads to success. And of course, determination, hard work, and talent.