The American entertainment landscape once was separate, with more isolated sub-groups and much less crossover. Today it’s now become as merged and as fluid as, let’s say, the landscape on Facebook was in the 2010’s.
With artists always making new genres naturally anyway, (emo x punk / EDM x Metal) one could question what is the end-game for indie artists in the near future, given the last 15 years of change.
Around that time (just after the crash) the music industry was in one form, today it’s radically shifted.
In this age of fluidity, the tech-gaming-comedy cross-trait demographic is one that always pops up in back-end analytics reports to an almost overwhelming degree. People who tend to like 1 of those interests also tend to like interest 2 and 3.
Point being is given the redefining and fluid landscape within nearly every corner of modern economies, the artist/influencer’s access to reach and achieve exposure is a massive new-step culturally.
This accelerates the change between between the artist and the fan.
A new effect of the new age: It’s now commonplace in 2020 for the presenter/viewer-exchange to be stacked – in terms of presentation of the presenters skills and hobbies – as an inherent side effect of efficiency of the individual said-presenters, given the parameters of our fluid mix-media age. The trend is leaning toward entertainers blending their brand in a way that max’s their growing skill-use today, while not losing or compromising reasonable entertainment digestibility of the end-viewer enjoyment. And thus viewership expectation shifts for more of that.
An eclectic case study of an independent artist/entertainer pushing the limits of this stacked business positioning is The HipHopGamer.
His love for multiple mediums sets a deeper, personal challenge-of-sorts, to not leave any single important side of one’s entertainment passions behind.
After an “Ebro in the Morning” interview went very well on HOT97, the HipHopGamer was offered an on-site Gaming Content Contributor position within the HOT97 team – a major course-setter for the entrepreneurial entertainer.
Shaking hands and meeting A-listers became more of a norm.
While maintaining this position, he began an endeavor to blend his music style with game scores of his liking, meshing and releasing sounds infused with music themes found in Twisted Metal, Pokemon, Halo, Uncharted 4, Watch Dogs 2, Drawn To Death, and Battleship.
All channeled through social media, the unique and enriching window into his world drew an audience.
Today there’s many moments to look back on worth sharing. The HipHopGamer is a playable, fully-skinned character in the game Watch Dogs 2 and NBA 2K Playgrounds 1 and 2 – just to give a point of scale of how far things have come for him.
He’s caught the eye of outlets ranging from Gamersify, Cheddar, and Digital Trends, all the way to established music outlets such as HipHopWired, and HellaHipHop.
Gen Z unequivocally is leaning into a more stacked media experience, since they value transparency and ethics before giving away a follow, vote, tip, play, etc., to a subscription or stream.
What could come in the near future: A modern-mesh of these sorts of ideas and potentially unrealized ones; all intersecting and all continuing to accelerate the fluid landscape we live through and shift with.
While slow-adopters may struggle to keep pace with the shifting and stacked mixed-media exposure and for practical reasons, it’s worth mentioning that it is an exciting/accessible time for music and musicians, with the caveat of a, “race-to-the-top of what’s relevant” effect, that’s very much here to stay.
Could constant accelerated adaptation and being the most informed be what ascends indie artists to something that’s ever-closer to complete individualistic control over exposure, stream-count, social media and influence? Perhaps it’s leaning this way.