Loudest had the chance to share their story with the EARS Asia forum, held last week in Mumbai. We touched on an extremely interesting topic “Fading in & Fading Out – The Future of Music Journalism” moderated by Bhanuj Kappal, and had some really experienced panelists including Amit Gurbaxani, Adam Ryan Of The Great Escape, Piyapong Muenprasertdee And Aparajita Misra.
Loudest approach to music writing is using it as a key tool to communicate and build a network within the industry. We are able to pioneer community-generated content, from the artists, for the artists. Informing, inspiring connecting and celebrating the music industry.
Today’s Role Of Music Journalism & Music Writing
Today, modes of consumption have changed everything when it comes to the role of a journalist, and journalism so to say. When it comes to gatekeeping, platforms have taken over that role. It’s the data that recommends what you’d listen to next…and the role of editors in streaming companies essentially plays a wider role in recommendations and discovery of music. Be its fingerprint technology, which can map your behavior and would recommend you exactly what you want to listen to. Definitely plays a major role.
The role of Music Journalism in the ecosystem is way beyond reviews…or artist interviews. We are today living in an era where every individual has a voice, it’s about user generated content, which is both informative and opinionated in nature. So where does journalism come? The future is indicating curated, collaborative content. Journalists play an extremely important role in narrating the story of the artist, always did and always will. As we are moving towards the subscription economy, there is a vast distinction made between premium and regular content, left for the consumption of both active and passive user.
Premium Content Vs Regular Content | Passive Readers Vs Active Readers
Premium content, critically approached music journalism where the skill of a journalist is of utmost importance, is irreplaceable. While we are consuming more and more informative, news, reporting content in crisp short formats which falls under music writing and regular content.
An active Reader today is being overfed with information, we are consuming information every second. These readers also further at times like to have deep dived knowledge on a certain topic of interest. While Passive Readers, interestingly would like to pay for quality reads. There is definitely an audience out there.
At loudest we have taken an approach of community generated content. It, in fact, has definitely simplified the language of our content, as well as, helped us be very insightful and critical. We do not lose the journalistic instinct when the power shifts to the user-generated content. The education system will not stop teaching journalism, and the passion for music will never seize to exist. It’s only the shift in the ratio of Passive Readers, and The active ones. The idea is, how does one make it desirable for both variants.
What Is Our Consumer Reading?
From our standpoint, the key is storytelling. To us, that’s what made it! In-depth reads are indeed essential and premium, but can the same information be depicted visually, graphically or say in 100 words? It’s the instant messaging and quick information consumption age. It’s the headlines which make you click, its the cover which makes you stick, its the introduction which captivates your attention, and then the facts! This is where design steps in.
WHO PAYS FOR MUSIC JOURNALISM? – Brands & Consumers
A question directed to the panel was, “What does it mean for the way journalism is done and talking about the ethical implications of brand sponsorships in both journalism/ music biz verticals and events?”
To us, Firstly, what’s ethical and not is really not the question here. If a brand is involved in the process of storytelling, we have to maintain the sanctity of the information irrespective. Achieving a balance is essential here. If it is a native content or paid content, you continue to be the author, and you have the independence to file the story that you are filing. Unless it’s a press release, which is not storytelling to us, its only a source to our depiction which is what the brand briefs us with, and what they invested for.
Music Inc. was underwritten by MTV, while 100% control of content was in our hands. And they respected that and invested into our thought, design and creative concept.
The Sustainence – Revenues?
Our Audiences are not limited, but fragmented. As we already shared above, there are two kinds of readers, passive and active. The premium content generated by music journalists is accessed by passive readers, under the subscription economy! While there are multiple forms and formats of the same content that is out there. Each story is told uniquely, be it in twitter format, or video, its all about what the consumer is suitable to. Music journalism stays, it’s only the formats and trends of consumptions we have to keep in mind.
When it comes to revenue, the buyers remain the same i.e. consumers and brands. It is only the design of the product that one creates which will pull back the ad revenues in the digital age. Technology can never replace the emotions that words evoke. It only is an enabler, to carry this emotion. Brands want to attach themselves to feelings, the recall, and repeat usage which happens in case of music. And journalism is a major one.
The bottleneck is not the tech companies hoovering up the ad revenue, but rather, how sales are approached in a traditional media set-up. – Aparajita Misra, Loudest.in
First being, new media is not confined by space…hence the product basket is vast.
Secondly, why are we selling ad spaces and not telling a story? Because innately that’s what journalism or any content company is about. To attract revenue, and sustain music journalism, we gotta stick to what we are made for.
The panel threw multiple insights during the conversations, while this was solely our point of view…!