With all that Apple had accomplished over the years previous, they had a hard time thinking of what market they could make a move into next. With the rise of social media amongst the younger generation, they knew that this had the potential to be the next big thing. Well… it hasn’t become that yet, but I am going to take a look at what makes Ping so interesting from a music industry point of view.
Although we have seen many social media platforms based around music, there were none really where almost every person had an account made for it even before they knew it. With Ping, the social network was instantly integrated with iTunes and the iTunes Music Store. All you had to do, was build your profile, and follow other users and artists that interest you.
Ping allowed you to follow your favorite artists with a click of a button. Artists were able to share content such as status updates, pictures, etc., which some may consider to be “inner-circle” content. It is almost as if you can become a groupie without having to actually become a groupie. With the iTunes store integrated, there is a direct pathway into purchasing the artists’ music if one was to become interested through Ping. Ping allowed the listener to become more connected to the artist, and allowed the artist to share what interests them, which is a great way for them to build a fanbase easily.
What makes a social network, a social network, is the fact that we can share our thoughts and ideas socially through a medium that fits our interests. For myself, being a huge fan of music, really engaged in Ping with other users who had the same musical interests as myself. Users can upload reviews that they post about albums or songs that they have downloaded from iTunes, which then get sent to all of the people that follow you. Many do not have the luxury to write reviews for Rolling Stone or other music magazines, even if they have great thoughts and ideas about music to share. Writing reviews on Ping is a great way to get your personal thoughts and ideas out there to the public on a medium where there are others that have your same interests.
What is the benefit for the music industry?
The Ping social network really identifies well with the music industry as a whole. Being able to share your thoughts and ideas with others on Ping promotes the purchasing of music in a time-period where illegal downloading and pirating is at an all-time high. Also, as stated before, artists are able to become more personal with their fans, which promotes themselves and the music that they create. It allows the artist to be more in charge of their own career, where as in the past it was the record companies and agents that spoke for them. Artists now have a medium to express their thoughts and ideas on a more human level.
The state of Ping
Unfortunately, it seems as though Apple did not put as much effort into the Ping social network as they should have. Not many users are still active on Ping, which is unfortunate. This may be because Apple did not release any more updates to Ping as time went on, and not many features were there to engage users in the first place. Ping has great potential that we might not be able to see anytime soon.