We interrupt our regularly scheduled programme to explain a decision I’ve made about this website and its purpose.
I’ve been told by a lot of people that they read New Music Strategies to get their news about what’s happening with music business in the online environment, and that this is their primary source of internet music information.
I’m sorry, but if that’s true, I’ve been doing you an incredible disservice.
New Music Strategies is an appalling news site. There is so much really interesting stuff going on out there that you could fill a daily newspaper exclusively with new developments around music online. Being a source of that information is not something I’m terribly successful at – so I’m just going to stop trying.
I get sent a lot of information from different people about the online music world. For instance, there’s a really interesting thing in my inbox about how four of the ad-supported free music download companies went head to head at Popkomm in Germany this week, and We7 came out the clear winner.
Okay – so that’s really interesting, and quite helpful to know. Sure, it’s a press release, and it made it to me by way of a PR agency, but that’s still worth your attention.
I was offered an interview about it, and I haven’t done anything about that. Or the several other things that are still sitting in my email inbox that I should probably be telling you about.
But it turns out, I’m not a journalist, and New Music Strategies is not an online music business news outlet.
I have the Newswire (just a stream of links to online music news), and now that I’ve come to this decision, I’ll use it more often and properly to make sure you do get to know about the interesting bits of news — but only by pointing to articles on other sites.
My days of trying to scoop anything are well and truly over. New Music Strategies is something different.
My skill, if I can be said to possess one, is to look at the music business and the online world, and ask questions like ‘What does that mean?’ and ‘So then what should we do?’.
It’s not in reporting fair and true the events of the outside world in a timely and objective fashion. It’s analysis, rather than observation.
So I apologise to the people who have told me all of the interesting things that I have completely failed to pass on to my readers. I appreciate knowing what you’ve told me, but if I wrote a blog post for every interesting thing that’s happening with the online world and the music business, I could do nothing else and I’d have to take on (more) staff.
So I’ve decided that’s not my function here. At least on the main blog.
This also gets me quite neatly out of a problem of impartiality. Because I’m not a journalist, I do not have to present both sides of an argument. This is just a blog. It’s my opinion and (hopefully) insight, and I’ll tell you what I think, rather than report on ‘what is thought’.
If it turns out I’m wrong about something, I’ll happily turn around and say I was wrong about it. In fact, usually I’m quite pleased to be proved wrong, because I quite often think the worst of situations — especially where the major record labels are concerned.
But for the moment, what I think is just what I think — and if New Music Strategies is useful to you at all, I’d like it to be that it gave you a new perspective on things, rather than a bunch of new things to think about.
I want this site to provide a filter on the mass of new information that streams forth on a daily basis, rather than just be another source of it.
So – by all means keep sending me the press releases. I’ll try and figure out what’s important and base my decisions on whether it improves understanding, and not on whether it’s newsworthy.
If it’s the former, I’ll write something about it, but it might not be what you wanted me to write. If it’s the latter, I’ll link to something that someone else has said about it on some other site. Again, that would be in the Newswire.
If you want to stay abreast of what’s happening, there are some great sites listed on the right hand side of this blog. They’ll provide you with the latest information as it happens far better than I ever could. Go read Coolfer, for instance. Bookmark it. Add it to your RSS feed reader.
Me, I’m handing back my press pass. I’ll sit on the sidelines and consider what it all means.
We’ll have access to the same information, you and me — and if I can help you chart a course for your music business based on that information, then my job is done.