BABA: The Typical Music Sharing Blog Concept Died With 2016

Although some may argue this has already happened – and I surely agree, “The Typical Music Sharing Blog Concept Died With 2016” is a statement that we artists and taste-makers alike need to accept. Music blogs that only concatenate songs without adding much user experience or connection have been on life support for years now, but 2016 has to be the year that we call it and stamp the date. The golden era for music blogs (circa 2008-2012) is long in the rear view mirror.

Don’t waste your time and try to start a simple music blog in 2017 with high hopes of reaching tons of people. That’s not a decent look if you’re someone that likes to measure time invested versus reach and value. Look for an exit strategy if you’re a blog and haven’t yet adapted your model. Don’t bother sending your music to a blog that doesn’t take the time to actually give your music a decent nod or tend to reach users in a different, modern and valuable way. Your time is valuable and I’ll try to explain the levels of futility in later paragraphs.

From a blog that shares music itself, understand that I definitely know how this article might look, and that it most-likely looks counter-intuitive from the surface. It may shock you to know that we knew about this trend changing close to four or five years ago. The ways that we consume music has been ever evolving, and adapting is often a long and strategic process.

Is there still a market and value in artists being posted on blogs, and for us as music taste-makers to share great music media on them? And, better yet, is there merit for you as aspiring artists to even care about being featured? The answer is yes and that will always be the case, but it’s not a simple yes/no answer. Things have changed.

Before we get too much into it, I do not want to push the notion that there isn’t a place for blogs in your marketing strategy, assuming you have one. You will notice that the blogs still standing always adapt with how people consume, though. Regardless of what anybody will tell you, this has always been the case. We went from trying to be the first to share a single via Hulkshare and Mediafire, to solely streaming Soundcloud and Bandcamp, to allowing Spotify/Apple streams (that we previously wouldn’t share), to now where we no longer share “singles” on the site. We also don’t even share videos unless they are great and stand out (or accompany a release). We also don’t care to rush to share to be first anymore.

With all of this being said about how we’ve adapted, it’s important to realize that blogging is still a very clunky way to share a lot of music in 2017 because of how most people typically consume music. Why would I want to click through 17 pages to listen to 17 songs when I can hit play on a playlist and focus my time on something else? This is especially the case if the experience the blog is giving is only the sharing of the music, and doesn’t have a ton of insight further into the artist and what he/she is doing.

We realized that and have adapted that to how and what we share, and continue to try to maximize who we share while attempting to improve user experience. Some ideas have worked better than others, but one thing that continues to be consistent is that it’s immensely hard to compete with the Soundcloud, Spotify and even YouTube as platforms. Especially if you, the consumer, have the time to dig a little.

The tools and technology are becoming greater in learning how to understand consumer’s tastes. You should know this already.

As we fast forward to 2017, if you see a blog emerging doing typical blog sharing concepts of 2012, they will eventually fail if they don’t quickly adapt. I’m still someone that reads 90% of his media on his computer, but a majority of the world doesn’t. I still like a good curated website that shares the type of media I like, but most people just want to do it themselves. That’s fine, and it’s our job as bloggers and taste-makers to adapt and to find the music in the crevices of the world, as well as highlight the greatness being made regardless of mainstream appeal. And, to find a way to get people to want to pay attention to what we’re sharing.

The reason I’m writing this now is because I’ve seen a few posts on my Facebook feed over the last few months discrediting blogs, and in so makes me wonder if artists ever understood the reasons behind blogs in the first place – and eventually where they will turn back to (and have been for the last few years).

See, before music blogs became a haven for artist entitlement, it was a place for people with unique taste to curate said taste to others. It was never about the artist but instead about the voice sharing the artist. You’ll see this in many blogs still standing today. You’ll be able to associate a voice with them. Whether that’s Yoh at DJ Booth, Shake and Meka at 2dopeboyz, or Andrew Barber over at FSD, they are voices you respect and trust.

What you’ll notice if you visit a blog these days, is that they are adapting in different ways to reach consumers. Sometimes subtle not to lose their current fan base, and sometimes not because they realize they may have missed the wave – or want to beat others to it. An important factor in being a taste maker is being on top of the trends without making your brand look lazy or trendy, and it’s a balancing act that takes quite a bit of mental thought and gumption. Changes are well thought out and done for a reason, and moving forward it’s important for artists to understand how blogs are changing so that they don’t take precious time away from addressing their current fans by practicing out-dated marketing tactics.

If you are still sending out massive email blasts to blogs in 2017, you are at least four-five years behind. Adapt!

In 2017, blogs no longer can just share songs and not give the consumer any type of experience (which, arguably, they could never do). You’ll notice that with how DJ Booth now shares content and articles, and how 2dopeboyz has made their posts more thought-provoking.

We at BDTB have started a podcast network to reach different viewers and adapt to a more real-time “look at us” way of reaching people, release a weekly playlist of all dope singles and videos (that we started in 2012), do a monthly playlist and portion of the site dedicated to Indiana hip hop, and have an entire element for music producers and beat-related releases (and a monthly event in two major Midwest cities to go along with it). We’ve also adjusted our focus in communicating with our fans and such by trying to create conversations on social media, instead of just using social media to get people to check out the site.

We’re continually adapting because we have to, and because we understand that we have to figure out how to assist the consumer – and not be arrogant enough to think that the consumer will adjust to us.

What does this mean for the artists? Well, you need to understand that blogs are adapting with the times as you are. And, being said, are often quite behind what the consumer wants. If the consumer is a speed boat, the artist is then the aircraft carrier. The blog is always somewhere in between there. There’s value, but that value does not supersede the importance of you investing in your own fan-base first.

Now, although being featured may seem less important at times in 2017, there’s definitely still merit to having a fan base and utilizing blogs in your expansion marketing strategy. I’d just suggest making sure that you put a majority of your time into retaining your current fans, as the blog world is just icing on the cake. Focusing on blog placements definitely add value if you have the infrastructure in place to use it appropriately, but if you don’t have a hand-to-hand way to consistently communicate with your current fans, you might want to focus on that first.

Blogs can only add to your base; blogs cannot create it. Something that seems to have been forgotten, or perhaps never learned, is that this has always been the case. Don’t let the handful of artists that seem to have blown up overnight confuse where you are in your craft.


This article is a part of our BABA: Be A Better Artist series. If you find this topic interesting, let me know what else you’d like me to write about in the comments. Or, if you’d like me to go a bit more in depth on anything I mentioned here, let me know what that might be. You can also catch me on the New Old Heads podcast talking music, the industry, politics, culture and more. We release new episodes here on BDTB every Thursday at noon.


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