I love this. A new band is rocketing up the charts, is set to become the fastest-ever something and the biggest-selling something else. And it has all been done by word of mouth.
Yes, the Arctic Monkeys have come from nowhere, there are a symbol of the new Internet world where everyday citizens are bypassing traditional outlets thanks to digital technology. Podcasting and iPods and other things like that are turning the world on its head. Now it is possible for four blokes in a shed to become international super-stars.
How do I know this? Because I have read it in The Guardian. And The Independent. And The Times. And The Telegraph. And The Star. And the BBC. And the Sun. And the Mirror. And The Belfast Telegraph. And Sheffield Today. And… and… and…
This word of mouth thing sure is powerful. Powerful enough for blanket coverage in offline national media.
Maybe people don't remember the days before Stock, Aitken and Waterman, or even the days before Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell. You see, in those days people would spontaneously get together to play music together and they would then play this music in public at events called gigs.
The music industry realised that if they recorded these people they might make money, so they hired people specifically to go to these gigs and spot any bands that were any good. And if they were, they would make them sign a contract and then would promote them heavily, hoping to get press coverage in the national media.
It's good to see that digital media is breaking down these structures, undermining the music industry and making it all one big free and open market. I wonder how long traditional media will last against this Internet-based destroyer.