Red Pill, Blue Pill? Music Reviewers on the Hot Seat

Content curating is pretty cool, especially when there’s a point to be made. From this post, “Five Tips For Identifying and Connecting with Music Bloggers” [ ] a huge discussion erupted over the weekend with a flurry of email among a group of industry pros who want and depend on reviews as PR tools.

The first insult thrown was about the hierarchical attitude in this article. Didn’t the indie music movement want to move away from this? If everyone is claiming to be authoritative, and you have to do things a “certain way” to get a review, where’s that level playing field again?

The post clearly instructs on the basis of electronic submissions. What about true production value, and clean sound? If an artist is working so hard as to target writers to review new work, the best strategy is to get it to people who want the CD.

Single song submissions are encouraged by contributors in the blog post. A review of the entire release whether it’s a full-length or an EP is what the artist needs.  What is needed by the reviewer is their problem to solve. When the artist must stoop to conveyor belt mentality to comply is an industrial age method of control.

Then came the argument about the “free review” vs the “paid review.” The free review isn’t free when an artist must comply, fit into a sardine can mentality, and move away from the indie movement’s original mission. The time spent jumping through hoops set up by someone trying to create a name for themselves gets costly. And the artist may never get reviewed. That’s the shameful thing about this authoritarian system.

A paid review only means you are paying for the writer’s time. It’s an expedient way for artists to get much needed feedback. As far as I can tell, anyone who is charging a fee for a review assures an artist’s work gets a subjective review.

How you want to spend your time and money is a personal thing. Efficiency is often more important than fighting for placement you may never see.

Score: Industry Pros 6  – Bloggers 0


About scout66

2017 marks the 33rd year of Janet Hansen’s career as a music marketing specialist. With three Grammy award-winning campaigns to her credit, Hansen has also contributed to the legacy of two of history’s most popular songs. “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams is the most-broadcast instrumental tune in history; and “Louie, Louie” by The Fabulous Wailers is the most-recorded rock song in history. In 2009 Hansen launched the unique music platform Scout66 to encourage reviews of live shows from the ticket-buying public. You may contact Janet at for information on consulting, campaigns, and tour support. Please follow us on Twitter at
This entry was posted in Branding, Business Practices, Music Reviews, PR/Marketing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Red Pill, Blue Pill? Music Reviewers on the Hot Seat

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