This New York Times article by David F. Gallagher, outlines the shift from old media to blogs as a means of generating buzz for a new band. The article went on record as citing Warner as the first major label to ask an MP3 blogs to play its music in the form of downloadable MP3 files on the blog Music For Robots. It also provides a cautionary tale for blogs attempting to expand within the confines of a major label. Warner's attempted to circumvent any bad comments by posting several comments saying how their band, The Secret Machines, was "so cool." When Music For Robots got wind of this they turned apprehensive to future major label involvement, saying that Warner's had turned the blog into something as deplorable as an "AOL chatroom."
This article gives weight to the argument that it would be tough for blogs to retain their independent credibility once they are bedfellows with major labels (conflicts of interest, and downright manipulation by labels could arise). It complicates my argument that a blogs could truly work alongside labels without being crushed by the corporate steamroller. However, it does add weight to my point that MP3 blogs have become legitimized by labels as a viable venture in band promotion. Also , it reaffirms that record labels have now become middle men in the music industry. If new bands appealed directly to blogs, they could avoid the major label, and appeal directly to an audience--thus beginning their careers, like Vampire Weekend
This article by Forutune Magazine senior writer Devin Leonard, features Jon Cohen and Rob Stone, two veteran music marketers who have turned to MP3 web sites to reach their much desired demographic. However, the difference lies in the fact that these two have gotten advertisers (blue chip companies) to sponsor free downloading. They have set up a network of MP3 blogs and have already inked deals with Microsoft and Toyota. The two say that Fortune 500 companies are finally realizing that blogs are where influential tastemakers graze, the same gatekeepers (with a constant audience) they want to advertise their products to. While independent blogs have troubles obtaining profitable ads on their sites (due to the posting of illegal copy-written material), Cohen and Stone have capitalized because their network of blogs (serving only authorized material) has an audience of 240,000 which is more enticing to advertisers.
This article takes the postulated ideas of 'blogs as labels' and puts it into practice. While this isn't exactly a record label, this is blogs acting as the publicity department for major labels, while still maintaining free content. The marriage of blue chip companies with the trendiness of blog culture is what Cohen and Stone are capitalizing on. Both advertisers and labels seem to comply and since their network of blogs appeals to 240.000 daily their audience is certainly substantial. This could be the future role of blogs in the music industry.