Does It Pay to Fake Authenticity?

Musician Climbs to Top on Backs of MySpace Believers

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I missed the WSJ story about musician Marie Digby, but Church of the Customer blog has a nice roundup of events.

Apparently the young lady went from just-me-and-my-songs status on MySpace all the way to MTV. It's amazing what fan support and talent can accomplish in this long-tail world.

Oh, and good looks and the backing of a record labe, Hollywood Records. So much for authenticity.

My first reaction is "Who cares?" My second is "HaHa!" After all, the music community is especially annoying (and full of it) when it comes to authenticity. After all, how many people lover their favorite band ... until said band lands on the cover of Rolling Stone. At which point, said band, being entirely too popular, is deemed a bunch of sell-outs! The shame! The horror!

I also have to admit to taking a perverse pleasure in seeing all these MySpace people kinda-sorta get duped. They're not quite as annoying as Second Lifers, but still ... about the only thing MySpace has done for me is hook me up with a lot of "friends" named Amber and Tyffani wanting to show me there "private" photos. Oh, and it's managed to re-unite me with some stalkers I thought I'd shaken off back in high school.

But I also must admit that Digby showing up at concerts and saying things like "I just turned on my little iMovie, and here I am!" somehow crosses a line. It'd be one thing if she just kept her trap shut about that particular angle and sang. But that she played up the "I am Web 2.0, hear me roar" story-line seems to be asking for it. If she simply performed and the news broke, I think most fans would say, "Good for her." But since she claimed to be doing it all by herself -- almost bragging about it -- it just sticks in the craw.

Then again, it's not going to matter. She's on MTV. If even half--hell, all--of her MySpace fans abandon her now, it's not going to affect record sales. Even on their worst days, MTV and pop radio absolutely dwarf the MySpace crowd, which has a hugely inflated sense of its own power. It's powerful, yes. But only up to a point.

And it's not like her fans are reading The Wall Street Journal anyway.