Hands on a keyboardAs the music industry continues its struggle to adapt to a digital culture where many people no longer feel that albums have a monetary value, they are increasingly stressing that artists must use social media to connect to fans. While certainly not a bad idea, many artists are fighting back, reasoning that creating music is their art and spending time on Twitter and Facebook is way more of a distraction than it's worth.

CNET News just ran a good overview of the climate between labels and artists on this front. For label executives, like Cameo Carlson at Universal Motown, the refusal to engage social media and marketing by artists is unacceptable and sort of puzzling.

"I was shocked to find out how many twenty-somethings aren't interested in social networking," said Cameo Carlson, a former iTunes executive who is now executive vice president at Universal Motown Republic Group.

A recent NPD Group presentation at the Digital Music East Forum in New York City presented a startling statistic about how quickly the industry is sinking. Over the past two years, 24 million music buyers have completely dropped out of the scene. Digital downloaders make up a million users in that figure.

"There may be some indie hipper-than-thou artists who want to let the music speak for itself," said Daniel Glass of Glassnote, an "indie" record label. "They are probably not for us. We believe an artist has a responsibility to communicate with their audience ... We embrace the world of technology and the vast improvements in communication."