Where Digital Music News Is Headed Next…

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.

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(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 paulr@digitalmusicnews.com; 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.

30 Responses

  1. Brian Zisk

    Would be great to see some of the more substantive Digital Music News articles syndicated out to other publications, especially those which don’t currently cover these issues in depth.

    There should be more widespread coverage of these issues.

  2. FarePlay

    Paul, congratulations on your continued growth. Good stuff.

  3. Erik P

    The forum is a good idea. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing more case studies.

  4. bammtv

    Very much looking forward to seeing this evolution. I have always wanted more interaction in the comments.

  5. Visitor

    “We have the biggest, most engaged industry community”

    Come on, you have Visitor (pirate fighter), Steveh (label owner), GGG (Spotify addict), Yves Villeneuve(iseneuve), Casey (Rhapsody addict). That’s about it. Good luck!

    • GG

      I wouldn’t say addict. I still buy plenty of music. I’m just not blinded by rage over their shitty payouts like some people on here seem to be.

    • Myles na Gopaleen

      I use about six or seven pseudonyms.

      I use different names depending on the story.

  6. Dominic Houston

    Paul – I have been using this site on and off for many years, and it has always been a really useful port of call for information and opinion. The debate & discussion angle is really important because it harnesses the power of your audience, who have a lot to contribute. I think whatever you do needs to do the same – harness the engagement and interest of the audience. The effort involved your side will reap a much bigger divident down the line. Some video opinions would be interesting – different participants in the industry vlogging for 5 mins on the issues that really affect them.

    Keep the good work up!


  7. Visitor

    “a lot of readers like the discussions more than the articles themselves”

    Don’t underestimate the articles. Without them, most of us wouldn’t be here. And without the edge, we wouldn’t respond.

    But then again… I personally left gearslutz for this place when they closed their music business forum, and I’ll leave DMN when you eventually get enough of anti-pirates like me on one side and Pirate and Proud on the other.

    And that’s what the future has in store, musicforum-wise:

    An increasingly hostile battlefield between artists, who wish to make new stuff, and tech guys who love old music and don’t want to pay for the production of new songs.

    A wise man once said:

    “We are the Visitor collective. We come in peace.”

    But that was a lie. This is war!

  8. Pam Shillips

    I’d like to see some sort of verification system for industry execs that comment under their own name. Your current comment section allows anyone to post under anyone’s name, or even worse, anonymously. This would cut out so much of the bullshit and ultimately lead to better discussions.

    • Visitor

      “or even worse, anonymously”

      Uh yeah, scary.

  9. Igor Dajic

    It’s kinda a funny I usually get the relevant info from your daily briefs much faster than any other source.

    I also use the ideas you present to challenge my artists and keep them on positive tracks when looking to the future of music bussines.

    Your personal ideas and views could be more challenging though, you seem to be a bit careful at times. Let yourself loose man 😉

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Now that’s good to hear; usually people are telling me to dial it down 😉

  10. Leora Kornfeld

    Pretty much daily reader of DMN. It’s quite the herculean effort and I applaud you for doing the hard work it takes to get a digital publication to this level of penetration. Well done. I’ve been working on the ongoing tale that I call “Entertainment Without An Entertainment Industry” on my blog at http://www.demassed.blogspot.com, looking at disintermediation across a variety of industries that fall under the entertainment umbrella.

  11. dangude

    More links to sources please and more links to other sites that cover similar stories.

  12. Yves Villeneuve

    Best wishes.

    Hopefully we are still able to comment on the articles.

  13. Vinnie Boombats

    So…you’re creating The Velvet Rope?

  14. Tony van Veen

    Paul, I like it that you just kinda lay it all out there for public discussion. I am also one of the daily DMN readers, and quite enjoy your editorial slant – you’re not just reporting stuff, you’re also thinking about what it actually means, and writing about it.

    At CD Baby we ran forums. I’d recommend having someone moderate them, because they can quickly devolve into total anarchy, spam, and self-congratulatory crap that adds value to no one, which in turn brings out the trolls, leading to a downward spiral in the quality of content, and results in declining readership.

    The good part of the articles with feedback is that it keeps the discourse focused. The articles are conversation starters, and it goes from there. So go ahead and try the forums by all means, but watch them closely.

    I think the sister publications are a natural extension for you, with proper editorial support.

    What i don’t quite get is your “let me consult for you or be on your board” approach. If you want to be in the media business you need to keep the appearance of objectivity. If you were to join, say, RocketHub’s board, would you ever be able to objectively write about PledgeMusic again?

    So, take it for what it’s worth: just one guy’s opinions.

    Keep on writing, and growing.


  15. HDTVBG

    “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.”

    Instead of re-inventing the infrastructure wheel, why not stake your claim to a Google+ Page and Community? If moderation is a concern, consider the services of companies like Liveworld.

    Good luck!

    • Visitor

      “Instead of re-inventing the infrastructure wheel, why not stake your claim to a Google+ Page”

      Because Google+ is such a success? 🙂

      Why lose most of the readers…

  16. Paul Resnikoff

    I’m deeply thankful for all the feedback, and hopefully I can incorporate everything into our future growth. This has been amazingly refreshing to me, keep it coming!

  17. Bruce Houghton

    Congrats on your plans, Paul.

    While as you know much of what you’re talking about – minus the forum and TV coverage – we’re also doing on Hypebot.com and MusicThinkTank.com, the music industry press needs more voices and expanded coverage.

    I don’t always agree with your editorial slant; but like others, I’m glad that you’re willing to take on the herculean task of daily blogging. I know better than most how hard you work, and thank-you for it.

  18. teags

    When you say contribute, do you mean just comments or is there an avenue to submit stories/op-ed?

  19. Saumon Sauvage

    I hope you are paying your intern and not getting her labor for nothing but for the “exposure” and a credit on her resume.

    Since you trumpet the importance of paying artists for their work, you should take your own medicine and pay her what you ought to.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Digital Music News pays its interns.

      • Saumon Sauvage

        I am very, very happy to read that you do! EXCELLENT!

        Frankly, practicing what you preach makes the reporting that much more credible, in my eyes.