Small Music Blogs Charging for Music Reviews

Is this a new trend?

Small Music Blogs Charging for Music Reviews

In the world of music lovers and 6,000 new aspiring artists every 30 minutes, it seems as though there are becoming less and less music blogs who are actually willing to post an unsigned artists music without CHARGING THEM (or if you don't have a relationship with them). And of course, the ones who don't charge either:

A. do not support your genre,

B. hate your music because they're snobby and want some mainstream Beyonce, DJ Khaled type genre, or

C. seek submissions but when flooded with emails, only post up 3 out of 150 then they get lazy and don't even bother to post it.

Now yes, I admit at my blog, Artist Block Entertainment, we're a little behind on 8 submissions but we also do request that you guys do a FOLLOW-UP and we DON'T CHARGE when we do decide to post your music. Seven out of 10 times, a blog will respond if you follow up with them 3 strikes and they're out. Follow up with them after 2 weeks of initial contact then try to reach out to them via 1 SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM, ONE TIME. If they don't answer, then Eff 'em. Remember people, we don't get paid for this. At all. In fact, we're spending more money than making it. But that's the success pyramid of business and we get that. When if you love writing about music or want to gain more of an audience or just want to build your portfolio, there's no reason to get lazy or snotty and not give the "little people" the attention they deserve. Obviously, not all the submissions are good. And as an artist, you need to do your part as well. When you submit to blogs, you want to be as detailed but not overwhelming and straight to the point as possible.

Let's say you've been doing this for some time now and you haven't released a song in quite some time and say to yourself, "Let me go ahead and submit to some blogs" (whether it's via email or submission form), and all you keep getting back is "Thanks for submitting! We'll be glad to post your track. All you have to do is pay a fee of..." What the hell is that about? We're aware that you aren't making any money just from writing, especially if you're freelance, but that's what advertising is for. To request payment so you can write 500 words or less is a little insulting to some blogs out there who actually take the time to write pro-bono but aren't generating enough traffic. I've noticed this "charging fee" often come from a lot of urban or hip-hop genre blogs. How are we to put our trust in you that you're not ripping me off and I'll never get that review? 

Let's face facts, even if you are generating enough traffic, and you probably are because you popped up on the first page of Google, why is it that I need to pay YOU to feature my music on a site that only 10 out of 1,000 of my fans may actually open? And maybe 1 of your audience members may click on it? I can understand if you say "Hey, pay $10 for your review to be up for 1 year," as that'll cover half of the amount for your hosting fee for the month and your site storage space and after a year, that artist will have already accumulated new reviews and you can go ahead and take it down, but charging me $30 so you can copy and paste my bio onto your site with a link to my song is total bull. In closing, a review always last forever (with screenshots if links are broken) but there should be no reason why an artist who has to pay for studio time, mixing, mastering, engineering, hair and makeup, photo shoots, video shoots, performance outfits, merchandise creation, band, sound guy, and touring, has to pay to be featured on a blog.

Read next: Why Study Music?
Tay Steward
Tay Steward

Tay Steward is an artist developer, manager and entertainment publicist. She is also the founder and CEO of Artist Block Entertainment, an artist manager company who also runs a music blog.

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Small Music Blogs Charging for Music Reviews
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