A worrying new trend has surfaced in South African entertainment.

Artists are holding fans to ransom before they release new music, with Nandi Mngoma the latest to join in on the 'craze'.

On Monday, Mngoma took to Instagram to pretty much warn fans that she would only release new music when she hits the 500,000-follower mark on the social media platform.

The sexy songstress later deleted her post.

Okmalumkoolkat did the same in 2015 with his 100kMaCassette mixtape. His initiative to hit 100,000 followers on social media worked.

Clever idea, but why do we fall for it?

What grates me is that some artists now deem superficial targets to be greater than the love for their craft. Having a large number of people follow you is more important than getting down to business in the studio - and giving fans what they really want. The music could ultimately be rubbish, but the hype generated would mean inferior releases are overlooked, and the success of hitting a number on social media praised.

It is a sign of the times, I guess, as the social media war to be more popular than your peers is vital to modern day successes. You could be a terrible artist, but a strong social media following will ensure some sort of success.

The push and shove to be more popular than the rest is just like High School all over again - only this time you have money to go to the tuckshop.

International stars Nicki Minaj and Rita Ora are the pioneers of this trend, with their pleas to fans through social media again highlighting the point that the actual love of the game looks to be a thing of the past.

Will we see more of this type of thing in the future? Of course. It can work, as illustrated by Okmalumkoolkat on South African soil. Should it become a mainstay of the industry? Hell no! Yes, social media is a fantastic marketing tool, but the reality of the situation means that artists will become pre-occupied with things that should not be in their thought process as entertainers.

I can envision that in the very near future, the days of when the music came first will be longed for by the fans, while the artists will be so wrapped up in checking their social media numbers that the opinions of those that matter most will purely be liner notes in the CD that is their career.