How To Become the Next Justin Bieber

The day is December 5th, 2017. I am under 24 hours away from completing ISYS6621 – The crash course on digital maturity and strategy, innovation, and the leveraging of technology to propel both businesses and society. As I look back over the past few months and how much I have learned about the tech space, I realize I have all of the tools and tips necessary to propel any type of business.

Just in case my music industry in-class presentation didn’t fully express my interest in the field, I am a BIG fan of music. I’ve never tried to pursue music as a career, but I have always loved the expressing creativity through writing and performing, and engaging in the large community of fan bases and artists. In the past, I had seen music as a mere side hobby that I rarely publicize outside of a coffeehouse acoustic set.

Now its my final post on the ISYS6621 site – why am I bringing up music? It’s because, until this course, I had not realized the strong marriage that exists between the music industry and digital business. With this newfound outlook, I decided to become the next Justin Bieber (without the Canadian roots and cute hair cut.) I have decided to turn my music into a business. This decision prompted me to make a How To post for the rest of ISYS6621 in case any one of the members would also like to join me in the journey to Justin Bieber.

Step One: Capitalize on Crowd Sourcing and Act on Virality

Of all the successful musicians in the industry right now, why did I choose Justin Bieber? Important Note: I don’t think his distinguishing competitive advantage is talent or catchy content, but the strategic utilization of technology. He was incredibly successful in capturing an audience and successfully reacting to his virality (two topics we were able to talk about in depth in class) in order to set his career up for the most success. Many in the music industry right now are talking about how crowd sourcing is slowly replacing record labels due to the the shrinking gap between artists and audiences that platforms like Youtube and Spotify facilitate. One of the first topics we touched on was crowd intelligence – This phenomenon can be applied to the discovery of Justin Bieber on Youtube. A huge audience found Justin Bieber and their collective intelligence allowed for a talented young musician was established. Justin Bieber’s first video from 2008 currently has over 53 million views – the video allowed the discovery that landed a record deal. Now I, too, have a few videos up on youtube (shameless plug…) with a total of around probably a hundred views.

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Now, where do I differ from Justin Bieber? Aside from my lack of having teenage heartthrob potential, he had a huge head start of about 10 years. Youtube and the digitization of the music industry has evolved a tremendously over the course of a decade. With the evolution came the abundance of content that have been uploaded onto the platform and crowded the space, making it incredibly difficult to become a viral sensation. As mentioned in class during our discussion on virality, there isn’t really a recipe for what makes a video go viral, but the capitalization of the vitality makes or breaks a company (or musician). The (relatively) quick reaction to the virality that Justin Bieber had allowed him to release his first single just one year after the massive success of his viral video. My lack of a viral hit (although my fingers are still crossed,) may have something to do with my tardiness in shifting onto a new, more algorithmically evolved platform that aims to connect artists with audiences more efficiently.

I think if Justin Bieber tried to break into the music scene in 2017, the first stop would be Spotify.

Step Two: Embrace AI and the Current Computerization of Art, Even If It Means Replacing the Record Labels

We talked a lot in class about the shifts away from traditional industry structures that we have seen throughout generations and what these shifts mean for today’s jobs and the future of work. A&R in record labels, or the curation of a portfolio of Artists and Repertoire, has long been a structured, creative process that beget many artist’s careers. This branch of music has since been replaced by the crowdsourcing that I touched on in step one – Tech Companies Are Leading The Rise Of Crowdsourced A&R. This scary reality for record labels is simultaneously an exciting one for musicians, as they no longer need a middle man to showcase their art. This reality is seen most easily in the existence of Spotify.26-spotify.w1200.h630.jpg

A 2017 up-and-coming Justin Bieber would be smart to capitalize on all that Spotify is aiming to do in order to appease its artists. The biggest value proposition is the data analytics and AI that powers their Discover Weekly, Release Radar, and Daily Mix playlists. These algorithms allow for artists to connect with new and old audiences, establish a fan base, and reenforce customer loyalty through implementing marketing strategies based off of the collection of demographic data. The technology that powers the algorithms and data collection that I touched on in my Presentation, Spotify’s EchoNest, is the epitomization of successful digital maturity and adaptation to industry trends. In order to be the next Musical Internet Sensation and follow in the footsteps of Justin Bieber, the move to Spotify is highly encouraged.

Step Three: Make People Happy by Making Something To Share, Post, And Talk About

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With the semester ending topic on The Negative Repercussions of New Tech, there should be people, places, businesses that prioritize not only financial and market success but societal impact. The purpose of a “business” can be as simple as making music that allows for people to feel happy,  likely influencing success. The connectivity that social media allows for the virtual sharing with friends is a major plus for musicians – the ability to impact more and more people not only benefits the artist but enhances the relationships of the audiences. The happiness that stems from the interconnectivity and intimacy can be seen because of the use of social media.

The existence of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allows for a stellar marketing campaign for all creative types – and those platforms are hugely dependent on the continual contribution of original posts and content. The ability for consumers to utilize social media to share things that resonate with them like a song or an artist is good for both their interconnectivity with their followers and friends but also for the artist who’s art is being shared.

In conclusion…

There you have it – ISYS6621, the crash course on becoming the next internet sensation, takes a huge pool of information and informs us on how to fully maximize on technological advancements and current state of society in order to develop a successful business. Whether the business is more straightforward like Facebook or Amazon, or if you’re aiming to become the next Justin Bieber, ISYS6621 is the How To.


  1. clairemmarvin · ·

    Great post! I loved how you tied your wrap-up in to your final reflection and think Justin Beiber (although unwittingly) is a great example of some of the topics we studied in class. I agree that societal impact isn’t always at the forefront of people’s minds when they create a business, but that its importance will only continue to grow in this volatile society. Also I watched one of your videos, you are so talented!

  2. Really good post! I really enjoyed your presentation last week and this was a great extension of it! As someone who also likes music and uses streaming apps all the time, I was really interested in learning more on how they work and operate. I also like how you talk about how even in Justin Bieber’s short career, in order to become famous today he would have to use different channels. I think this shows just how fast technology, and our usage of it, is progressing.

  3. maririera19 · ·

    Awesome post Michaela! Who knew JBiebs was a social media wiz (or at least got lucky with the timing when his video was posted on YouTube). If this course has taught us anything it is how incredibly useful tool social media is and how it is becoming increasingly more important to utilize in this digital age. The music industry is an awesome example of a business where a good use of social media can greatly enhance your career. Being on Spotify is a huge plus for starting artist because a big part of Spotify is the social aspect that it has. Users can share what they are listening to and their own playlists so if someone discovers a new song from a new artists it is likely that they will pass it along and increase the artist’s popularity/success. If you use all the tools you have learned in this class I believe you can make it in the music industry, Michaela! Also you have an incredible voice and heartthrob written all over you so give it a shot!!!

  4. mgiovanniello · ·

    Great final post! I’m still laughing at Justin Bieber’s 53 million views and the screenshot of your video with 82 views immediately following it. Artists in today’s society definitely benefit from the tech-infused music industry, but also do experience drawbacks (like streaming, with significantly lower margins, becoming the new standard). I wonder with such great advancements that we’ll see another Justin Bieber-like breakthrough in the near future. I really enjoyed the way you incorporated a recap of your presentation into your overall course reflection!

  5. ericiangesuale · ·

    I liked this post a lot! It’s really easy to see your deep passion for music, however I think you’re equally passionate about Spotify! I think you’re definitely right when it comes to the ways in which the music industry is evolving and changing. Taking some of the power from record companies and putting it in the hands of the artists is an incredibly important change that needed to happen. For too long, record companies had too heavy a hand in the discovery, management, and control of musicians. Hopefully our digital revolution is paving a path so that in the future artists don’t need to rely on signing with a record company to become successful. In fact, I would argue that that environment already exists today– look at Chance the Rapper! The only part that I would add to your article is that I think it is still necessary for new artists to be on a variety of streaming platforms like Apple Music to be successful– Spotify alone has a limited reach.

  6. kaitlinardiff · ·

    Great post! Your love for music is clear and has so much potential in the digital world. One thing to note is that while technology obviously enables connections, and thus makes it easier to discover new artists and lets one jumpstart their career, it can also produce unintended side effects. For example, technology now allows us to buy songs one-at-a-time, thus different from traditional CDs. This customization affected the pricing scheme for the music industry, affecting the profits for artists. Because of reasons like these where Taylor Swift took her music off of Spotify due to the royalties, I wonder how it will continue to change in upcoming years. Maybe we’ll reach a point where artists/record labels begin to sell their songs directly rather than through intermediary platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

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