I’ll come clean right off the bat and let y’all know that I’m really not sure how I feel about this, but by the time we’re finished with this post I’ll probably have worked it out. Typically I’ve found most EDM blogs to be run by post-collegiate little dick-riders with no notion of how to make money, caring only about getting backstage and taking selfies with DJ’s. I mean hell that’s why we all got into this game, RIGHT?!
As someone who used to run a blog that actually made money (L-O-L!! // RIP Digi10ve) I can tell you it wasn’t fucking easy. Blogging is fun, and my life looked pretty fabulous back in 2011, but I was low-key working at a sandwich shop to get by and I have a fucking law degree. So we were either going to 1. click-bait the shit out of our readers to ensure we hit our monthly numbers and/or 2. find a way to charge for posts. We tried #2 and pretty much got laughed out of LA, but then again this was 4 years ago and we didn’t have EDM.-fucking-com. JESUS, what a time to own that little gem.
The Thump article leaking an email between an artist manager and EDM.com thoroughly blew the whistle of their whole pay to play operation, but I have to LOL that this is what passes for scandal in our scene. Does this surprise anyone? As a blogger, you’re going to get strong-armed into posting mediocre tracks. Labels, managers, agents and PR folk are going to lean on you, and unless you have the luxury of blowing off your industry contacts (good luck getting anything done EVER!), you’re going to have to give in periodically.
With all this information in mind, I think perhaps the EDM.com guys might be fucking geniuses. They’ve figured out how to 1. turn their site into a real business and 2. create a boundary they can point to every time an important contact starts demanding posts. “Oooooh we actually don’t do straight music posts anymore, feel free to take a look at our paid promotional services, THANKS BYE!” It’s a brilliant leverage tool. And, since you know as a blog you’re going to get stuck posting music you’re not passionate about in order to function within the industry, you may as well get paid for it.
On the other side of the argument, fellow hoser and rogue blogger Michael Abernathy says this “payola” kind of shit has, “Caused a flood of incredibly average records with massive play numbers without coverage from credible news outlets. Artists can take those numbers and get booked by promoters that only know how to digest numbers, regardless of quality.” Sure, but at the end of the day, DJ game is a democracy of the arrived. The artists who’ve broken through are the gatekeepers, and this makes sense because DJ’s play each other’s music in their sets so they most heavily influence what’s hot. Twitter is the high school cafeteria where Diplo tweeting you is the equivalent of being invited to sit at the Varsity quarterback’s table, if the big dogs like your music and your style you’re #Blessed.
Conclusion: I’m filing this under don’t hate the player hate the game. Carry on EDM.com, when we figure out time travel I’m going to go back to 1995, buying this domain and extorting the living shit out of anyone who comes for it.