Social media has broken the music industry’s mold

The music industry, for many years, remained relatively static in terms of how it operated. Record labels essentially owned artists, and supported them financially through the process of producing and releasing albums and music videos, and took a large cut of the sales in the process.

Since the advent of social media, the entire landscape of the music industry has been radically changed. Music sharing subscription services like Spotify (which has become a social network in itself) have killed album sales. Music is now available for free or for an extremely low monthly cost to consumers, who rarely purchase physical albums anymore. In 2018 alone, album sales fell by over 18%, while music streams increased by 35%. This means that artists and labels no longer make much money from record sales. The majority of artists now have to support themselves financially through touring and other sales, which has caused the price of concert tickets and merchandise to skyrocket. Artists are spending more time touring, and have also had to adapt to the realities of digital releases being more popular than vinyl, CD and even MP3 sales.

Another way that social media has changed the music industry is the concept of the music video and music video television. “Video killed the radio star”, but YouTube killed the music video television network.

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As recently as 15 years ago, a major way for bands to get exposure was to release music videos for their singles, to be released to television networks such as MTV, VH1 and, specific to Canada, Much Music. Many musicians had much of their career liftoff directly attributed to success on music television.

Since the advent of readily accessible and free video content on social media, music television has essentially become a thing of the past. Much Music formally changed it’s name and branding away from music entirely in 2013. Labels became less likely to pay for big budget music videos since they wouldn’t be played for a profit anymore. Very popular artists, backed by large labels, still do make music videos for digital release, but gone are the days of even lesser-known bands scraping together funds for a music video with hopes that Much Music would pick it up and incorporate it into their regular rotation – a sure recipe for success in the past.

On the other hand, YouTube has made it easier for musicians to get their songs out into the world without a record label. A well-known example of a YouTube success story is Justin Bieber, but he is only one of many stars who rose to fame via YouTube. Their self-made content garnered them enough exposure and hype to attract major labels, which is a new phenomenon. In decades past, aspiring recording artists’ main vehicle for attracting the attention of a label was to tour constantly, playing small clubs and bars, hoping for word of mouth advertising. Social media has made the world smaller and less costly for musicians starting out.

Finally, social media has forced musicians to give more of themselves personally than ever before. In the past, information about a band was much harder to come by. Fans would have to buy magazines for interview content, subscribe to official fan clubs (which sent newsletters in the actual mail!), and listen to the radio for concert announcements. Much more work went into being a fan, and for less “payoff”.

Nowadays, nearly every artist uses several social channels to connect with their fans. Fans can very easily keep up with tour schedules, releases, and other news. Musicians also experience pressure to share more details of their personal lives with fans than ever before, in order to keep their followers interested and engaged. This can become very emotionally taxing and cause constant drama that was a rarity in the past (which is a whole other topic for another day!).

The flip side of this is that fans are now able to engage with their favourite artists in very direct ways, and create relationships, which build the kind of fan/artist connection that music consumers of past generations could only dream of. Teenage me, who came of age in the late 90’s, would have given my right leg to have the kind of access to my favourite bands that we do now. A retweet of a fan’s Twitter post, or a comment on an Instagram story, or even a “like” on a Facebook comment from a beloved musician, can firmly establish fandom for life from a follower.

Social media has changed our society in many ways, and the world of music is one of the most rapidly and permanently changed. Some of these changes have been great for fans and artists, but some would also argue that social media has destroyed the music industry entirely.

What’s your opinion? Are these changes for better or worse? Has social media improved your experience with music or do you miss the “good old days”?

Has social media killed off the traditional music industry? It’s a whole new world out there for artists and fans!

How social media has changed the music industry – join the conversation! #musicfans #outwiththeold

Improve Your Food Game With Social Media

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Do you love to cook? Are you great in the kitchen? New ingredients your thing? Or do you dread having to prepare meals, have challenging special dietary needs, or find yourself cooking the same things over and over again? Either way, social media is a game-changer for experienced home chefs, those who have been known to burn water, and everyone in between.

Here’s how to use social platforms to maximize your time spent in the kitchen, learn some new skills, and fill up lazy evenings with entertaining food content – after all, you can only watch The Office so many times!


You may already follow your favourite restaurant on Facebook, but you may be missing out if you stop there. Restaurants often have promotions, special menu items, and giveaways that are only advertised online. There are also many Facebook communities for recipes and meal ideas, as well as specialty groups for those with dietary restrictions. Out of ideas for your kids’ school lunches? Suddenly lactose intolerant? Did you get an Instant Pot for Christmas and you’re terrified of it? Facebook has your back!


Do you want to learn how to cook the perfect #sousvidesteak? Are you unsure what to do with that bag of #hemphearts in your pantry? What exactly is #gochujang? If there’s an ingredient, method or recipe, you can bet there will be a #hashtag associated with it. Use the “follow hashtag” tool on Instagram and have curated content show up in your feed!

Instagram is also a great place to find niche food accounts. Just in case you need a whole feed devoted to poutine or weird kitchen gadgets!


There is a YouTube chef for everyone! Look up the author of your favourite cookbook, or simply decide on a style of cuisine that appeals to you, type it into the search function, and see what you find. Try Sam The Cooking Guy, Cheap Lazy Vegan or Alton Brown for inspiration here. All three of these channels are entertaining and informative, but very different in style and content.

Another treasure trove of culinary goodness are Youtube test kitchen channels. Up until a few years ago, test kitchens were primarily a behind-the-scenes tool that the food industry used to trial recipes for their magazines, shows, and restaurants. Lately, thanks to social media’s reach, some of those test kitchens have evolved to become learning tools (not to mention entertainment!) for the rest of us, by creating content especially for viewers. Test kitchen staffers double as on-screen personalities and teach viewers about new techniques, tools, and best practices, create innovative recipes, and dive into the more unusual side of cooking, just in case you wanted to learn to ferment your own kimchi. My personal favourite is Bon Appetit, the test kitchen behind the famous magazine.


Reddit is a discussion platform that allows users to share posts, images and links in any number of forums (called subreddits). Users and their posts are rated by other users in a system of upvotes, downvotes, and the content that appears first is usually by the best contributors. It is also a hotbed of excellent resources. r/askculinary is a great place for finding cooking help, and is also a fantastic source of inspiration for meals. If you’re a great chef but need help with your presentation, try r/culinaryplating. Or, if you’re brand new to cooking and need help with… well, everything, go ahead and join r/cookingforbeginners and work your way up to a kitchen pro status in no time.


This is the home of all of the great food blog content. A majority of bloggers post their content to Pinterest to expand their reach and increase traffic to their site, so if you’re looking for a blog that features Indian cuisine, gluten-free recipes, slow cooking, or any other niche, this is a great place to start your search.

Pinterest is also one of the best places on the internet to find visually appealing, easily digestible information, in the form of infographics. If you need a measurement conversion chart, a meat doneness temperature scale, or a primer on what produce to store in the fridge or on the counter, look no further than Pinterest.

Are you an experienced home cook or a rookie? What’s your favourite foodie account on social media?

Improve your food game with social media, whether you’re a newbie or a pro!

Kitchen problems? Use social media to become a pro chef! #yummy #cooking

Social Media is a Traveller’s Best Friend

In my younger, more free (ie childless) days, I travelled quite a bit. Road trips as far as my car would take me, weeks-long tours of Italy, catching a Greyhound to another province for a concert, even a nine month stint in a volunteer service program that sent me all over the country, and an au pair gig in New York City. Most of my travel was organized the old fashioned way. I walked into travel agencies, perused brochures, looked at websites, bought maps, called the airport to book flights, and mostly… winged it. It was sometimes stressful, and oftentimes the destinations weren’t what I expected – both in great ways and in terrible ways.

Nowadays, my travel is limited to trips to the city for Costco hauls and the occasional adventure to the zoo with my small humans. One day, I hope to travel the world with my family in tow, but in the meantime I am lucky to be able to live vicariously through my career. I work in the media production industry for a company who primarily makes outdoor adventure content. My job centers around researching new destinations and hidden wonders of the international variety. I’ve also discovered how much social media has changed travel planning for the everyday person. 1 in 5 travellers now use social media to research their trips, and, of those who use social media in planning, over half change their original plans because of their findings online. Let’s explore some of the ways social media can be a vacationer’s right hand man.

Firstly – reviews! You’re now able to easily find firsthand accounts of others’ experiences with hotels, airlines, resorts and attractions through a quick search. Another benefit to this is how timely the reviews usually are. You’ll be able to find out if the hotel you’re planning to stay at is undergoing renovations, if a specific wing of a museum is closed, and about weather or season related changes to hiking trails. Most reviewers are posting their content within days of their experience, along with pictures. Gone are the days of shiny promo photos being the only source of visual information available to a future traveller. With a couple of clicks, you have access to how clean the grout is in the shower at your Airbnb, or what the spinach dip looks like at the airport lounge. This is forcing businesses to have a higher level of accountability and quality. A win-win for travellers!

The ability to crowd source is another big advantage folks now have over pre-social media times. One can easily ask other travellers for specific recommendations and tips and get replies from all over the world, including from locals who know all the insider info. Want to know if there’s a bungee-jumping place that’s reputable in Costa Rica? Somebody knows that. Need to know what’s the least busy day of the week to visit the Vatican, and how far of a walk it is to that gelato place you heard about on Yelp? Somebody knows that. Inside info on the best LGBTQ+ nightlife in NYC? Yep, somebody knows all about that too. Just jump on Facebook or Reddit and the answers to all those random questions are at your fingertips.

Furthermore, don’t forget about interest-related blogs, social media accounts and apps. There are a million different resources available for inspiration and help along the way. Follow _itsbeautifulhere on Instagram and get inspiration for your next (several dozen!) adventures, in beautiful photographic snippets. Going mountain biking in Appalachia? Download the Trailforks app and let it guide you to new and well-loved trails even where Wi-Fi isn’t available. Users can add photos and trail conditions real-time, update fellow off-roaders about hazards, and share their own routes and rides with others. Follow Wandering Earl’s blog and be inspired to meander off the beaten path along with this full-time nomad (currently his ‘countries visited’ ticker is sitting at 117!).

Of course, being able to pre-plan and investigate our adventures so thoroughly maybe does take away a bit of the adrenaline rush that old-school ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants’ travel offered. Indeed, the lack of surprise involved in knowing exactly what’s around the next corner can take away some of the spontaneity of travel. As well, one should keep an eye out for sponsored posts, which may be disingenuous, and also for fabricated reviews. However, with a discerning eye, it’s possible to weed out any misinformation. For me, and for many others (especially of my generation), the pros of social media for travel planning outweigh any potential cons.

Has social media inspired your travel adventures? What’s your most Instagrammable travel memory?

Social media is a traveller’s best friend. How to use it to your advantage for the best trip ever!

Should you plan your next trip with social media? #stayandwander #socialmediaperks

6 Conversations To Have With Youngsters About Social Media

I am the proud (and exhausted!) mother of three small children, who were all born into a time where the internet and social media rule the world. They are true digital natives; they have each been able to operate an iPad, work Netflix, and ask Google Home questions since they were toddlers. My older two kids, who are school aged, use technology every day in class, in the form of literacy and math apps on Chromebooks, Smart Boards, and they even have coding built into their curriculum. My youngest loves to ask Google to tell him knock-knock jokes and make the smart plugs turn the lights on and off (which is, of course, hilarious and infuriating at the same time).

I, on the other hand, am an 80’s baby. I grew up alongside the internet, but I’m old enough to remember the world before it. I got my first computer at the age of 10, and thus lived through the years of Windows 95, floppy disks and dial-up internet. Later on, I had a MySpace account and a Geocities webpage, used the Ask Jeeves search engine, and I even had a first generation iPod and a flip phone in my late teens. That said, I also used actual paper maps on road trips, went to the library to do research for school, and called people on the phone if I wanted to talk. I feel like my generation, the so-called “old millenials’, had the best of both worlds.

I also feel that my generation, as parents now, are able to navigate this new digital world the most effectively of all the generations. This is arguable, of course, but it makes sense. We are internet-savvy, and are at home with social media and technology in general, but are still separated enough from it to be wary of its’ downsides.

Even so, I spend a lot of time contemplating how to navigate social media with my children as they get older. It’s a whole new world out there! There are so many stories in the news of children and young teens being drawn into terrible situations because of social media, including but not limited to cyberbullying, body image and self esteem issues, and accessing inappropriate content. Even atrocities such as child luring and trafficking, unfortunately, are relatively commonplace occurrences. Completely banning technology and social media in particular isn’t a viable solution, as it’s so ingrained in society. Withholding it would be to limit them socially and academically (which is another topic for another day!).

So, what to do? Not an easy question to answer. However, I’ve started to have a series of open dialogues with my children, to help them prepare to navigate social media safely and healthfully as they grow up. A 2106 report released by Common Sense Media, as reported by CNN, states that the average age that a child creates their first social media account is 12.6 years old, so it’s clearly never to early to start the conversation. I’m pleased to share those starter topics with you.

  • Not everything you see on social media is honest and transparent. Most people show their “best face” to the world on social media. They don’t show their acne, their insecurities, their messy houses, or their negative emotions. Teach them about the realities of airbrushing, filters, and photoshop. Reinforce that there is nothing wrong with being imperfect. Follow social media accounts with “real” people.
  • Don’t share everything. You don’t know who’s following your profiles, and not everyone has good intentions. Don’t share your last name or what school you go to online. Learn about privacy controls on different platforms. Never, ever share photos of your body unclothed, and if someone sends you a picture or makes a request of you that makes you uncomfortable, tell a trusted adult.
  • Nothing is truly private. Anything can be screenshotted or copied and pasted, and once it’s online, it lives there forever. If you wouldn’t want your family or friends to read it, don’t put it online.
  • Be kind. To those you know and those you don’t. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online. If someone else is being unkind online, call them out on it or tell a grown-up. Be a friend!
  • Balance, balance, balance. Social media is fun, but so is going for a bike ride with your friends. Taking selfies with filters for Instagram Stories makes you feel good about yourself, but so does baking cookies for your neighbours. Snapchat streaks are a good way to pass the time, and so is reading a new book. Channel your inner 80’s baby! Live in both worlds.

How are you preparing your children for their entry into social media?

Have kids? Here’s 6 conversations to have with them about social media!

Prepare your little ones for the world of social media! #kidsonsocialmedia #toolsforparents