Digital Music News is now the most influential, most read, and most controversial publication in the music industry. So if this were your site, where would you take it next?
Here’s my plan. Let me know what you think.
(1) We have the biggest, most engaged industry community. So that’s about to multiply.
It’s sometimes strange getting feedback. In the same event, I’ve had someone yell at me for running the most irresponsible publication this world has ever witnessed, only to get hugged five minutes later by someone who loves the bare-knuckled honesty and open community. Some people want to kill Digital Music News, others want to have its baby, so go figure.
But here’s the strangest feedback I’ve gotten: a lot of readers like the discussions more than the articles themselves. And when you think about it, that makes sense: readers bring all sorts of opinions, information, fact-checking, and debate to the table. It’s that simple idea that the interweebs is smarter than any one author or publication, and we’re living proof of that.
But you need an article to kick off those threads, right? No, you don’t, which is why we’re now building the most serious and substantial forum this industry has ever seen. It’s in development right now (it’s functional but not very pretty), but the general gist is that anyone and everyone is invited to the new mega-discussion, and anyone can create or respond to any topic, rumor, or wild-eyed concept. The most active topics bubble to the top, the more niche threads will be neatly categorized.
We don’t have to start it, we don’t have to end it. And if that sounds like information chaos and anarchy, then you’re welcome.
(2) A lot of companies aren’t getting enough attention from, or information to, Digital Music News.
It’s another example of information overload, but we’re pissing people off by missing emails, trends, and forgetting names. And sometimes, missing the most important entrants that are about to change this business. So, see (1) above to help solve that, but we’re also beefing up our editorial staff to widen our reach and impact.
You’ve already witnessed the power of Helienne Lindvall, who’s already changed and broadened Digital Music News beyond anything I could have imagined. And it’s only been two months.
So we’re adding more. Next week, we’re bringing our summer intern Priscilla Kim back into the action to help us track and publish more deals and developments and get them to our readers faster. We have 40,000-odd Twitter subscribers who have elected to receive instant info; now we’re going to deliver that to them.
And, after Priscilla heads back to school, I’m aiming to continue that level of coverage with an equally-talented, equally paid intern. Which is why I’m now meeting with a bunch of incredibly smart people that have expressed interest in the position (thanks for the patience, btw).
But wait: why aren’t more musicians, companies and executives writing for Digital Music News? After all, they’re in the trenches building things, succeeding, failing, and grappling with all the issues confronting this business. This is a tricky area, because the line between serious opinion and serious salesmanship (aka, ‘advertorial’) is sometimes thin. So I’m working on some guidelines to make this about debates and issues, and less about Billboards (pun intended).
I hope you’ll consider contributing (and defending).
(3) Digital Music News is too shallow.
It’s a strange problem: by covering so many companies and issues, you actually lose the ability to dig deeply into one company or even issue. And as much as I love writing articles all day (and I do love that), it’s incredibly time-consuming.
I started working and consulting with an incredible, San Francisco-based company last year, and it’s seriously broadened by outlook and helped the publication. So, aside from simply diversifying and expanding our publication, I’m aiming to free up some time to get my hands dirty with more companies. That could mean simply grabbing more coffees with more people, advising on more strategies, introducing more people, or sitting on a Board.
It’s about being on the ground a little more, instead of just writing about it. So hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org; let’s meet, collaborate, whatever.
(4) Digital Music News needs a sibling.
Somewhere along the development arc of Digital Music News, I realized I was accruing more than just music industry expertise. I was figuring out how to create a music trade magazine that works in the 2010s. And, there are fascinating, parallel stories happening in other media industries, like TV. Which is why I’m seriously investigating and conceptualizing the creation of a sister publication to Digital Music News.
Right now, the working title is Channel Daily(channeldaily.com), and the focus will be so-called OTT (over-the-top) television content and it’s powerful disruptive role.
Anyway, I could probably make this list go to 10 (or should I say, 11). But those are the biggest focus areas right now. I’d love to hear your feedback.
Paul Resnikoff. publisher. Digital Music News.