When Ghostface Killah [click to read] professed his disappointment last year about the lack of sales for The Big Doe Rehab [click to read] compared to the amount of friends he had listed on his MySpace page, questions on the real influence the giant networking site had already been raised.
In a recent study titled, “Does Chatter Matter? The Impact of User-Generated Content on Music Sales,” New York University researchers looked to reveal this problem concerning online content and sales, and whether or not there was a way for music Web sites to increase sales inadvertently through independent content.
With MySpace being one of the major resources for fans to check out their favorite artists, researchers hypothesized that, “On average, a band with thousands of friends on MySpace to be more popular with MySpace users than a band with a handful,” thus selling more albums in the first month. Using the rankings of Amazon.com, one of the world’s largest online retailers, researchers determined the outcome of their studies surprising to say the least.
For one, they found that an increase in MySpace friends for an artist did not correlate to an increase in sales. Not only that, but the amount of MySpace friends did not serve as a strong indicator for album sales in general.
On the other hand, blogs that posted content of artists repeatedly on their sites, termed “blog chatter,” resulted in relatively more sales for the artist. Through this study, it would seem that Ghostface’s concerns and artists expectations in general for sales should now be attributed to blogs rather than label-invested outlets.