04 Mar How Honest is Music Blogging?
During an editorial meeting that jumped from discussing the past month’s advertisement opportunities to the underlying objective of our lives in the music industry, my team and I came to an almost exhaustive and somber conclusion about our motives. We spitballed, argued, I even yelled a bit, trying to define the voice we wanted to have when music blogging. We all know what it is but it’s not translated completely to our readers. All in all, we (or at least I) felt like we were in a sense not fulfilling a “duty” of some sort. At least not one we wanted to own.
It’s difficult to be heard in the music industry. For anyone who turns a shoulder when the movies try to portray the industry as “business,” I implore you to believe it. Even as an underground blog who strives to cut out the bullshit, sometimes the only things we can physically find amongst our networks is shit cake laced with commercial frosting. Of course we take part in being a business within an industry, but we established a motive to cultivate quality, not promote the highest bidder of cat bile. It’s hard for me to spit it out (and I’m sorry to the few close friends I have in this particular game) but this clogged up artery we call a newsfeed is a product of PR and promotion, a vessel of an already twisted, cancerous industry.
Our Editor-in-Chief put it perfectly: “We put so much work into helping these guys out, with 0 to little sign of ever receiving anything in return…” It’s true, in most cases. PR firms are about hitting quotas, producing clients, and sending as many messages to as many people as possible. It’s their job, and we work insanely close with them, to the point where friendships (and sometimes enemies) are often established. But rarely is the return on the investment ever what a blog hopes for. Then what? The content is less than optimal because it’s not handpicked, but rather paid for or “financed by acquaintances.”
This is not a direct bashing on my PR fam. There are tons of great people I have worked with in the past. The unfortunate thing is that these peoples’ common characteristics just so happen to be the single beacon shedding light onto what’s infecting music blogs. They love the music they promote, and don’t base their clients solely off of their checkbooks. They’re soldiers just like us, trying to bring forward the next wave of good music. Sounds all bright and dandy right?
These people are only a minuscule fraction of the total population of PR representatives in the music industry. The amount of email submissions one receives when reviewing music regularly is enough to give them an aneurysm. I don’t know why I even accept them via email anymore… I don’t think I’ve found one honest submission in the first couple months of 2015. Not to mention the amount of “friend” requests I get that are really just ploys to submit more music.
The idea of a submission system isn’t what I’m bothered by (or what I’m complaining about). I’m bothered by what the business of music blogging has become. When will our feeds be cleansed? I don’t know. When will blogs worry more about original content rather than making everyone that bugs them happy? Perhaps blogging is still an immature form of journalism or perhaps I’m just cynical. But I am sharing an honest and untapped form of opinion, the type we so seldom hear any more.
From here on out we will attempt to give you the purest, untampered voice possible. If not, what’s the point of being a tastemaker?
Word is Bond, I love music.