Shockhound is part mp3 retail site, part online pop culture magazine. They sell merchandise as well as tunes, but the core of the site is content-driven. Interviews and features have an alternative rock slant in line with the site’s connection with alternative music-related clothing store Hot Topic.
Independent artists can get their own music up for sale on Shockhound through TuneCore.
Magazine and retail outlet all in one: diluting the proposition, or a “sticky” site that’ll help sell more of your music? Your mission is to review the the reviewers, write about the articles and evaluate the store – in the comments please.
This might actually be the question I get asked most often. At the end of a seminar, a lecture or a guest talk at some event, somebody will raise their hand, and ask the question. I kind of dread it, because I can only really disappoint every time I answer it, but almost every time I speak, it comes up again.
“Hi, that was interesting and I can see that I’m going to have to pay more attention to the web / put an RSS feed on my site / get my own URL / use innovative strategies to promote my music, etc. I’ve read your 20 Things e-book, and I want to implement all that stuff…
“But can you please point me to an example of someone who is doing all of the things you suggest really well, so I can model my site after theirs?”
Here on New Music Strategies, I’ve been posting the sort of questions I often get asked at seminars, conferences, lectures, and public events, and putting forward the answers I usually give. And then you come in with your perspectives on both the questions and the answers.
It’s a good system, and it works. I hate to buck the trend.
But I have a question for you – and it’s one that nobody ever asks me:
Is it more important that music businesses make money, or is it more important that culture expands, innovates and grows?
New Music Strategies has a sister site. It’s called New Music Ideas. It started life as a place where a handful of clever people – and me – investigated websites that claimed to be of use to musicians and people in the music business. We wrote reviews of those sites and told you what we thought.
But after some careful consideration over the weekend – and something of an epiphany (a word I like to use instead of the phrase ‘being struck by the bloody obvious’) – I thought it would make sense for you to review these sites instead. Everyone wants to know what you think.
So now how it works is this: I point you to a website – you contribute your thoughts, reviews and feedback in the comments. Simple.
So as a trial run, to see how it all works – the first site up for review on New Music Ideas is this one: New Music Strategies.
Now of course I may well be asking for trouble here, but I’m genuinely interested too: Is it working for you? How could I improve it? That sort of thing.
Let’s hear what you have to say.
I’ll also be looking for sites you think need reviewing – so be sure and let me know if you use any really good ones, really bad ones, or ones that need a bit of feedback. That’s what New Music Ideas is all about now.
It’s all very well being able to buy music instantly, and take it everywhere with you. But somehow, it feels like we’ve lost something along the way with downloading. Music – at least, recorded music – used to be this thing that you would hold in your hand, treasure, read through the liner notes and yeah – smell.
As a wise man once said: “Don’t front like you’ve never licked a record…”
I even met a prominent music industry professional this week who clearly recalls taking his early record purchases to bed with him, and keeping them under his pillow as he slept. But none of these things are ‘the music’. They’re all the bits around the music. It’s the artefact, the artwork, the accompanying text – and not actually the recording of the tune that was being loved in this way.
And while of course we love the music, when you separate the recording from the artefact, things change.
Its aim is to provide useful resources, advice and strategies for innovation and success in the independent music sector in a rapidly changing technological environment.
NMS examines emerging technologies (and buzzwords) such as AI, blockchain, metaverse and 'Web 3.0', but focuses primarily on sustainability, music as a tool for social change, participation, equality and inclusion, and the ways in which music technologies can build better worlds.