SXSW Music 2013
The Power of Lyrics in the Digital Age
Twenty-five years ago, music fans read song lyrics on the back of an album cover, or in the liner notes, while they listened to a new album. With the rise of the CD, that became more difficult with the small type required to fit the printed booklet.
In today's digital environment, a plethora of services and apps are distributing lyrics online and via mobile apps. This brings up a host of new issues -- how they are used, what these new lyrics services/apps mean to artists and songwriters, how they can be made more compelling, how lyrics connect with social media, and what the licensing/copyright issues are.
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- What are some of the new ways that lyrics are being used online and on mobile devices? Examples include the new LyricPlay application integrated into Shazam, TuneWiki and MusiXmatch apps in Spotify, websites like MetroLyrics.com, RapGenius.com, and more.
- Does the integration of lyrics in digital music services increase the engagement between artists and fans? Is it a distraction to the music, or does it enhance the music experience?
- What is the effect of promoting lyrics via social media services like Facebook and Twitter? Can lyrics be used to drive fans to your website or your Facebook page?
- How do songwriters feel about the use of their lyrics in these new services and apps? Do they embrace them or want them stopped?
- What are the licensing and copyright issues surrounding the display of lyrics in digital media (online and on mobile devices)?
Deborah Newman, Digital Music Consultant, MusicStrat