The Blog Factor

SXSW Music panel. Panelists: [Gerard Cosloy](, [Amrit Singh](, [Sean Adams](,
[Maura Johnston](, [Carrie Brownstein](, [Jason Gross](
*[Official description]( Music blogs have emerged as tastemakers by incorporating unfiltered opinion, audio/video playback, and immediate publishing. As their initial impact expands into the realm of record labels and event promoters/sponsors, can they retain the personality and quirks that first distinguished them?*
Singh shares how his music site received a warning that a music track was posted without permission. Johnston is careful not to do this, citing an incident how they had permission from an EMI publicist to post music, and later received a warning from another department of EMI that they couldn’t. i.e. in some cases one arm doesn’t know what the other arm is doing.
Cosloy says this usually happens with the big artistes and labels. Unknown artistes, conversely, are usually overjoyed when their material is featured.
**What makes a good music blog?**
Good writing. The same standards applied to music magazines, can be applied to music blogs. Music blogs can also be less commercialised than websites from recording companies.
Adams notes how many music news websites hurry to report sensational news which is lacking in depth. On the other hand, the diversity of music blogs today means that there are now many blogs with very few readers. Brownstein notes many blogs also follow the ‘insular cycle’ by repeating the same news.
Johnston thinks this is because reporting budgets have been reduced. She says [Nick Denton]( gets around this by asking readers for tips, so he gets news from the primary source, or pretty close to it.
Adams also noted how Paris Hilton got more coverage because of her celebrity status.
Gross cites a recent study which found that blogging has a bigger impact on sales than MySpace. [anyone have a link to this study? I think it’s [this one](] Panelists think this is because MySpace can only feature a few bands at the same time.
**What’s the best way to get journalists to cover your music?**
1. When emailing the press about your music, always send the download links and not the music as an attachment! Their mailboxes are already full.
2. Send music to publications that cover your genre. e.g. Adams has been inundated with funk CDs he’d never listen to.
3. Make your CDs easy to open – don’t shrink wrap them. Sometimes this alone influences whether it gets opened and listened to. (Singh)
4. Don’t send a tome – one person sent a 50-page press release. Panelists agree they wouldn’t read so much.