Uni­ver­sal takes a gi­ant step into the bl­o­go­sphere

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

There has been a sig­nif­i­cant rise in the num­ber of deals done by mu­sic and me­dia com­pa­nies in­volv­ing mu­sic blogs and web­site.

Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic Group has in­vested $25 mil­lion in Buz­znet, the com­pany which re­cently ac­quired high-profile mu­sic blogs Stere­ogum and Idola­tor.

UMG see the new part­ner­ship as an op­por­tu­nity to be “di­rectly in­volved in de­vel­op­ing edi­to­rial pro­gram­ming”.

It re­mains to be seen, how­ever, if this means UMG artists will get pref­er­en­tial treat­ment in re­views.

In re­cent months, there has been a huge num­ber of buy-outs, takeovers and in­vest­ments in­volv­ing mu­sic com­pa­nies as they seek to di­ver­sify their port­fo­lios. This in­cludes Sony-BMG's pur­chase this week of Gra­cenote, the com­pany whose tech­nol­ogy is used by iTunes and oth­ers to ID tracks and ti­tles.

This, though, is the first move by a ma­jor la­bel into the hith­erto un­charted wa­ters of mu­sic blogs. As a re­sult, the UMG-Buz­znet hook-up will be watched closely for con­flicts of in­ter­est, reader un­ease about the lack of edi­to­rial in­de­pen­dence and how re­leases on other la­bels are treated.

Other sites in the news this week were the ex­cel­lent RCRD LBL, which is join­ing forces with print mag Fader, while mag­a­zine an­nounced it was bring­ing 11 mu­sic and movie blogs, in­clud­ing Pop Mat­ters and Virb, to­gether un­der the Paste Na­tion ban­ner to pitch for ad­ver­tis­ing. Mean­while, a

profile of the Pitch­fork (cred­ited with break­ing Ar­cade Fire, among oth­ers) site es­ti­mated its an­nual ad rev­enues at $5 mil­lion.

Some sites have cap­i­talised on their abil­ity to at­tract big­ger au­di­ences by adding self-gen­er­ated au­dio and video streams to their sites and turn­ing into quasi ra­dio or TV chan­nels.

For me­dia in­dus­try in­vestors, though, the real ap­peal of mu­sic blogs lies in how they act as fil­ters to at­tract a highly tar­geted au­di­ence.“Sites like MyS­pace are so over­ar­ch­ing and so mass, this (RCRD LBL) is much more of a tar­geted com­mu­nity,” said Fader Me­dia’s Andy Cohn about the ra­tio­nale be­hind their deal with RCRD LBL. Ex­pect more of th­ese deals in the com­ing months.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.