09

Jul

Blogging ’bout a revolution

Today heralds the launch of The Pop Cop’s revamp, with the gifted Ctrl Alt Create coming up with a makeover of Gok Wan proportions, but with slightly less justification for nudity.

This, I imagine, is a bit like how it would feel to show off a newborn baby to someone for the first time. The default response tends to be a variation of “Aw, isn’t she/he beautiful” even if you think the ugly stick has done its worst. But any comments of a complimentary nature will be gratefully received!

So what’s this talk of a revolution? Let me explain. When The Pop Cop was shut down in May, it was no small thanks to Sony Records, who were responsible for filing multiple complaints to Google about mp3s that were briefly posted on the previous Blogspot-hosted site but had long since (we’re talking years here) been removed.

During the month-long campaign to get the blog reinstated, I know for a fact that word got back to people high up at Sony about The Pop Cop and the reasons for its deletion. There and then they could have withdrawn their complaint(s), thereby obligating Google to reverse their decision and thus prevent some readers doing fairly silly stuff on camera.

But, no, that apparently would have sent out the wrong message. Instead, Sony had meetings about the promotional benefits of mp3 posting and decided to look at creating a service that would allow music bloggers to pull pre-approved Sony song streams into their blogs. Woo fucking hoo.

That’s when the reality of the situation struck me. Record companies such as Sony do actually want bloggers like myself to post their songs, albeit on their terms. They are hiring PR companies, many of them online-specific, to email mp3s to bloggers and encouraging us to post them on our sites. I get dozens of emails of this nature every day.

The output of many blogs is often of a higher quality (and more read) than the material found in paid-for printed publications, yet almost all music bloggers do not make a single penny from the hours they devote to promoting the music they like. But for those who would like to, it seems to me there is a simple answer and it relies on the age-old tradition of supply and demand…

I’ve come up with a new feature called the JUKEBOX (see right). The idea is very simple. Say you’re a music artist, or representing one, and you want The Pop Cop’s readers to listen to your tunes. Rather than trying to convince me of its greatness (it doesn’t help that I’m very fussy) all you need to do is stump up a little bit of cash (we’re talking a fiver here) and you can have your song(s) playing away for a full month on the Jukebox. You’ll be happy, I’ll be happy and the readers will be happy because your music will be what the world has been waiting for.

Ready to go for it? Just email me here with the subject title ‘Jukebox’ and we can get it sorted in no time at all.

Since the music player looks pretty nifty, I decided to stick a second one up called the LOVEBOX – all streaming tracks here come with the The Pop Cop seal of approval as they are taken from my own collection.

Happy listening!

11 Responses to “Blogging ’bout a revolution”

  1. peenko Says:

    July 9th, 2010 at 19:29

    this is one sexy beast of a relaunch, it was worth the wait after all. Your pay to play idea seems like an interesting idea, if it works will I be getting a decent Christmas present this year then? I wasn’t too impressed with last years lump of coal


  2. Jack Bentley, Australia Says:

    July 11th, 2010 at 00:21

    Good to see you’re back…don’t want to see “your back” again though. Sincerely hope the rough patch is behind you.


  3. J Says:

    July 14th, 2010 at 14:16

    You should take a Albini type stance on charging: Sony et al should have to pay £££ to get on the radio whereas Joe Indie Band can get on for the price of a pint.
    Good work.


  4. anonymous Says:

    July 14th, 2010 at 14:19

    Right, so you’ve turned yr blog into a ‘pay to play’ venue? How ethical. I thought music blogging was about the passion and excitement of songs, rather than being paid to put up any old shit?

    Disappointed. So I could punch my keyboard and make horrible noises but send £15 and it’d be up on here? That’s the reverse of how music is meant to work. Leave Sony out of this, it’s quite a cynical marketing ploy.


  5. phastie Says:

    July 14th, 2010 at 17:00

    Sounds like anonymous has missed the point, or at least not read the post as far down as the Lovebox bit… Great work on the relaunch.


  6. anonymous Says:

    July 14th, 2010 at 17:25

    I read that also, no problems with that bit. It’s just a bit weird that you’re seemingly allowing people to pay for the privilege of being on a playlist, when really, it should be the bands being paid for their efforts rather than the other way round.


  7. thepopcop Says:

    July 16th, 2010 at 17:51

    RE: comments from anonymous – the blog is hardly a ‘pay to play’ venue. There’s a heap of stuff on The Pop Cop from daily news, reviews, features, previews, interviews, mp3s etc to navigate your way around. The Jukebox is just one part of the content, something which might give me a token reward (we’re not exactly talking hundreds of pounds here) for the hours of work I have put into The Pop Cop every day since June 2007. Anything I make will almost certainly be reinvested in the music scene one way or another.

    As for talk of “ethics” and a “cynical marketing ploy”, I really can’t see where you’re coming from. I have been totally honest about what the Jukebox is – a pay-to-play playlist. Musicians pay to get on it and the readers of this blog are aware of that before they listen to the songs. I could just as easily have tried to make a couple of quid by having large banner adverts sponsored by Google but I felt that people who visit this site would much prefer to see something like the Jukebox and potentially discover some music they like that they might otherwise have been unaware of.

    You say that music bloggers should be content to do what they do for the “passion and excitement of songs” and never take any financial reward. Would you say the same should apply to musicians themselves? Or to sound engineers who work in gig venues? Or to people who run record labels? I’m sure they have just as much “passion and excitement” for music, so give me one good reason why it’s OK for them to be paid, yet not for someone who invests just as much time and effort writing about it.


  8. P Says:

    July 17th, 2010 at 09:24

    People who are so quick to jump to talk of ethics are often paranoid and less than honest about their own sense of right and wrong. If ‘anonymous’ (big balls, by the way, keeping your identity a secret) feels you are SELLING OUT, MAAAN, most likely this is because he is (it will be a guy, c’mon…) in a terrible band and he knows you’ll never give his abhorrent noise the light of day. He also knows that he’d do just about anything (and I mean, anything) to have a REAL LIFE A & R MAN listen to his disastrous demo and tell him, “you’re gonna be a big star, baby – you’re gonna have yer name in LIGHTS!”

    The fact is, writing about music is not secretarial work, you have to think about what you’re hearing and create something of your own out of it. Everyone should get paid or no-one should get paid: end of story.


  9. a different anon Says:

    July 21st, 2010 at 01:27

    I actually think the jukebox is a wicked idea and prefer it over the really annoying ads that a lot of sites have.

    I’m also glad that you’re back and bemoan the heavy handedness in taking the blog down in the first place.

    HOWEVER, I will note that you posted plenty of illegal mp3s in the short time period before The Pop Cop was taken down and you’ve painted a somewhat (understandably) biased picture. For example, you illegally posted mp3s of Hey Boy Hey Girl by The Chemical Brothers and Anyone Can Play Guitar by Radiohead on April 19 2010. So with Google’s track record, I wasn’t really surprised when The Pop Cop did get taken down.


  10. thepopcop Says:

    July 21st, 2010 at 01:38

    My bad. I thought Radiohead wanted to give away their songs for free…


  11. a different anon Says:

    August 4th, 2010 at 23:27

    re: the sarky Radiohead comment that (intentionally???) missed the point – http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=1042091&c=1 – Like I said above, you shouldn’t be surprised that the blog got taken down.


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