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WB vs MP3 Blogs: The Clueless vs. The Smug

Warner Brothers Records is the only major label that hasn’t got around to discovering Blogcritics – can’t be bothered I guess, which would indicate to me a high level of cluelessness.

While I admire WB’s efforts to integrate themselves into the Byzantine world of blogs – but not yet Blogcritics, as I mentioned (fools) – their technique would seem to undermine their efforts:

    Two weeks ago, at least eight MP3 bloggers received an e-mail message from Ian Cripps, a Warner employee. In the messages, which were identical and came with an MP3 file attached, Mr. Cripps told the bloggers that he loved their sites.

    “We are very interested in blogs and I was wondering if you could post this mp3,” he wrote. “It’s by one of our new bands – The Secret Machines. They are an indie rock band and we would love for people to hear the band’s music from your site. Here it is, listen to it and let me know if you will post it. Thanks!!”

    The pitch to MP3 blogs was part of an ambitious online campaign that was the work of Robin Bechtel, vice president for new media at Warner Brothers and Reprise Records.

    ….Ms. Bechtel said that the company had contacted many sites for the Web part of the publicity effort, and that the messages to MP3 blogs were an experiment. “We’re really progressive in trying things,” she said.

    ….Many of the blogs were ambivalent about Warner’s request: they were flattered by the attention but concerned about compromising their principles, or appearing to do so. In the end, Music for Robots was the only blog to post the track after receiving it from Warner (two others had already posted Secret Machines tracks independently). In an almost apologetic blog entry titled “Music for Robots Sells Out,” Mr. Willett wrote that the song was appearing there not because the band needed the exposure, but to establish a relationship with Warner and to let readers know what was going on.

    Other sites were less cooperative. Most MP3 bloggers have a strong independent streak and love to unearth obscure musical nuggets, so a song like the Secret Machines single that was already being played on commercial radio was of little interest to them. And once one had posted it, the others were even more inclined to steer clear.

    In the week after the song was posted on Music for Robots, a message board on the site attracted some thoughtful commentary on Warner’s move. But a few comments, posted under several different names, stood out because they looked like something one might read on a teen-pop fan site.

    “I never heard these guys before, but theyre awesome,” read a posting last Thursday under the name Ron. “I went to their website and you can listen to a lot of ther other stuff, very cool and very good!” Another post, sprinkled with casual profanity, asserted that big corporations could still release good music, and cited the Beatles as an example.

    A check of site records by Mr. Willett revealed that all four of the suspect comments had been posted from the same Internet Protocol address, indicating that they came from the same computer or from a computer within the same company. That address was also the source of two e-mail messages that Ms. Bechtel sent to a reporter, as well as the original messages sent to the bloggers. [NY Times]

Busted. Any idiot spammer knows to vary the IP – that’s Internet 101. Also, the fake comments evidence the continued expectations of labels to control all that goes on around them (and if not, they’ll sue your ass): “Let’s try this hip new underground music source, but we’d better rig the game in case they don’t repsond the way we want them to.”

On the other hand, I think its hilarious that only one MP3 blog even posted the song, because they are just too fucking hip to put up something “mainstream.” It’s the controlling clueless vs. the smug pricks. Turds to the left of us, turds to the right, here we are, stuck in the middle with you.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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