We Are Not For Sale - A Top Story for the week of 9/10/07
(antiMusic) We felt the need to address an important issue to us here at antiMusic. There are a small number of publications, labels and PR firms out there that engage in a practice of trading advertising dollars for editorial coverage. The publications are pretty easy to spot as they are covered with record company ads and curiously also carry glowing reviews for the same CDs. We were approached today by a PR company we have worked with for a while that asked us point blank to SELL them coverage and that by doing so it would get us in good with the label. To say that email created some anger is an understatement. We contacted the label these artists were on, since we have been working with them for years and reiterated what we told the PR company. WE DO NOT SELL COVERAGE!!! The label was as shocked as us and they were also contacted by half a dozen other editors that have a conscience that also couldn't believe they were sent such an email.
I felt it was important to address this with you, our readers, and state clearly that in the nine and half years we have been online we have never once engaged in this. In fact, we stopped working with a couple of labels that engage in this practice and you will not see any coverage for the artists we were approached about today (in fact, we also cancelled an interview with an artist we have been trying to interview for over a year because the same PR firm was working his latest project.*). No need to name names, as the label and band's had no idea this was being done in their name (but if we see some ads for them cropping up in the coming weeks on some sites we may have to let the cat out of the bag so you will know who is for sale and who isn't.) We do very little direct advertising here as we are too busy developing articles to concentrate on being salesmen or women. And yes, we do lose money almost every month because that is our focus and that is fine. If faced with the choice of selling out or shutting down, we will shutdown in good conscience.
Music critics get a lot of criticism themselves, which is totally understandable given the subjective nature of the medium and most honest critics wouldn't have it any other way. But I have to reiterate that we here at antiMusic got into this out of a love for music. Plain and as simple as that. So be assured that when you read a review or editorial on antiMusic you are getting the writer's honest opinion. Our editorial policy has always been that we let the writers have the freedom to write what they are inspired to write (with only politics being frowned on). Our review policy is simple. We get over a hundred CDs submitted to us each month and our writers then select the ones they wish to review. It really is as simple as that and that's why you will find some major releases right next to a unsigned band (and won't find some bigger releases reviewed here).
Also the stories in the Day in Rock are included because we feel they will be of interest to you, our readers, and we do try to mix it up to offer as broad of coverage as possible in all areas. We have always had an open policy with coverage, when readers ask us to cover certain artists we do. As long as we are online that will never change and as long as I am the editor you will never once see any article on antiMusic that was paid for. It may not seem important to you, but it is at the utmost importance to us. With the record biz being tainted enough in other areas you do not need to be exposed to bogus reviews that were purchased with the aim to trick you into buying a CD with your hard earned money. This not only hurts the fans, but the bands and all legitimate artists as well. We may not see another ten years online because we resist this practice but we'll happily go into bankruptcy with our integrity intact. - Keavin Wiggins / Editor antiMusic Network
* And so you know, we do have a special in the works with another artist that is handled by this PR firm and was even mentioned in the same offending email, but the special was set up by another PR firm and that will go forward with it because there is no use having them suffer for the sins of others. Plus we had already committed to run it.
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