New media form is becoming increasingly influential on consumer behavior in the marketplace, specifically in awareness, obtaining information, developing opinions, and purchasing behavior. Consumers are substituting traditional media and means of advertising, such as television, radio, magazines and newspapers, for new media that give them instant access to information at their own convenience. Due to its consumer-generated nature, social media is perceived as a more trustworthy source of information than traditional advertising and communication. Therefore, consumers are turning to social media platforms to obtain information and make purchasing decisions (Mangold & Faulds, 2009).
As both a new promotional tool and a venue for consumer-generated communications, social media is becoming increasingly influential on the creation and realization of a music star’s image. A variety of social media platforms including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, VEVO, and interactive artist websites, are used to manage promotion and monitor publicity of stars. The following discussion of social media’s influence and importance on the creation and realization of the music star image will focus on the first two media texts: promotion and publicity.
While traditional advertising, public relations, and direct selling still exist and remain essential, social media is becoming an increasingly important tool used in the promotion of a music star image. According to Nielsen, active adult social networkers are 75% more likely to be heavy spenders on music compared to the average adult Internet user, therefore promotion via social media is crucial to an artist’s and, in turn, their record label’s success. Mangold and Faulds (2009) suggest “a new [communications] paradigm that includes all forms of social media as potential tools in designing and implementing [marketing] strategies.”