The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Thursday, May 17, 2001

Online Wake-Up Call

InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: I got an email the other day from a record company publicist. He works for a label that prides itself on breaking the mold, on bucking tradition, doing things their way. To quote from the press release: "[Our label] is always being criticized for being disrespectful, or for not being reverent, in our marketing and publicity. Fuck it." He described a new release, and then wrote "[If] you can review it or feature it in some periodical printed on paper - then hey - lemme know and I'll get you one." I thought, for a second, that I must have misread the thing. "...some periodical printed on paper"? I mean last time I looked the guy's label was releasing CDs, not just 33 1/3 vinyl pressings. And as far as I know they've never released anything as a 78 R.P.M. pressing or on cylinder. "...some periodical printed on paper"? It is truly amazing to me that someone in the media business could actually not want to have their releases written about by online media. More than 70 million people registered with Napster and downloaded their software. The world has gone digital. While few have figured out how to build successful online businesses to date, the public, especially those under the age of 25, spend a fair amount of their day online. And they're not just emailing each other or engaging in instant messaging. They're reading editorial of one sort of another. They're getting information about music. They're streaming music and ordering CDs from online stores. They're coming to this web site - - and finding out about new music. And yet there is a disconnect. It's like those closeminded conservatives who thought jazz was uncouth and not music. The same mindset that many had when rock 'n' roll appeared in the '50s and when punk appeared in the '70s. The same mindset that, right now, thinks that hip-hop isn't music. Nearly seven years ago, when I started Addicted To Noise (the first web music magazine), I came up against many in the music business who didn't know what the Internet was. They had no idea what a powerful communication medium it was, nor of how many music fans, even then, were already online. At the time, it was understandable. Now there is no excuse. A lot of people have been practically dancing in the streets over the demise of the dot-com. In their glee, of course, they miss the obvious. The online world is not going away. Certainly, if you don't have a profitable business, soon you have no business. But that has nothing to do with the public embracing the Internet. Once you have unleashed technology on the world that 100s of millions of people have incorporated into their lives, it won't go away. People will be making use of the Internet - or what it will certainly evolve into -- for a long time to come, and I am certain that there will be a day - far into the future to be sure - when periodicals are no longer "printed on paper." I mean when I worked at SonicNet, more people came to the site each month than bought Rolling Stone and Spin combined. Wake up dude! If you don't do what you can to get the word out online, the very people who are most likely to buy your company's CDs won't know about them.

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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