How ‘Call Me Maybe’ and Social Media Are Upending Music

Without a supportive Bieber Tweet and a rush of US Olympic team video performances of the song, Carly Rae Jepsen’s track ‘Call Me Maybe’ may have gone unfounded.

Instead, it’s been viewed more than 212 million times on YouTube and is rolling at #1 on pop radio.

The song is a perfect example of social media dictating air play and air play solidifying the song’s longevity in mainstream music culture.

But the main impetus for popularizing the song is YouTube, where teenagers find and listen to a majority of their music.

My wife has kept her music collection on YouTube for years but I never really understood the trend until now. YouTube is free, ubiquitous across devices, and allows for easy playlist creation. Why pay for Spotify or an iTunes download when you’re a click away from a YouTube stream?  

The YouTube stream is now a bellwether for artist popularity. If views are in the tens of millions the song must be hitting on all cylinders, culminating on terrestrial radio play.

The hit market today is controlled by social media noise where one Bieber tweet can kickstart a music career. And it costs nothing. As an artist, you never know who’s watching. That’s why it’s always important to focus on making good content first.

Bieber > YouTube > Radio = Hit

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.