A few years have passed since I’ve written about our approach to Hype Machine’s Popular charts.
Since that post, we’ve prevented hundreds of artists and marketing teams from gaining an unfair advantage on our site. It’s disappointing, but it comes with the territory of maintaining a music chart that remains closely watched six years later. This has helped millions of people find some truly incredible music through each of the blogs in our index.
More recently, we’ve become concerned over some new patterns on music blogs themselves.
A handful of labels and PR outlets have focused their efforts on illicitly gaining coverage on Hype Machine-indexed blogs. The most common approach is to become a contributor at an established blog and post their clients (or clients their friends are promoting). For maximum impact, the same person would then get a spot at multiple blogs to create the appearance of broader support for the release. In some cases, the people running these blogs were aware of this, in others these discoveries have come as a surprise.
We have stopped indexing blogs that support such behavior or do not select their writers carefully. There are a few reasons why it’s important for us that this does not continue on Hype Machine:
• You should be able to listen to a track knowing that it was posted because the writer thinks it’s good—not because they’re a client.
• By creating a false sense of popularity for their artists, marketers can manipulate you into liking the music they are paid to promote. For example, if a track has been posted by many blogs, some of which are well-established, it is more likely to be heard and gain momentum through repetition. This encourages more blogs to post these artists, and the cycle repeats.
While blogs are an integral part of music marketing in 2015, we want to support bloggers, labels, and PR agencies that operate with integrity.
That’s right, some of you have been finding new music with Hype Machine for 10 years. Thanks for listening, and for being so curious.
I also can’t thank the people who have built Hype Machine with me over the past ten years–their creativity, commitment and patience are outstanding.
There is a lot to say about this much time but one thing stands out: there has never been a better time to be a music listener, and yet it is still difficult to playfully connect with new things. Finding what to listen to is as hard as ever, and that means we need to get back to work.
PS. In the meantime, enjoy the Norton Commander CGA color remix of the site.
We’re back with five more days of blogger-curated showcases, celebrating 10 years of Hype Machine! (Though it’s only our seventh SXSW.)
Each year, Hype Hotel, presented by Feed The Beat, brings the Hype Machine experience to life with lineups of the best new artists being discussed on music blogs. 2015’s excellent day and night shows have been selected by YVYNYL, Turntable Kitchen, All Things Go, Blah Blah Blah Science, Consequence of Sound, Gorilla vs. Bear, Crack In The Road, Disco Naivete, Cruel Rhythm, ISO50, Unholy Rhythms, and Pigeons & Planes, along with the Hype Machine team and Conflict of Interest.
Special thanks to our presenting partner Taco Bell, and sponsors #HypeOn Mazda, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Miller for providing food, refreshments, and making the event possible. More thanks to ROBE, Orange Amps, and High End Systems for making it look and sound amazing, and Eventbrite for powering our RSVP
Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel: 1100 E 5th St, March 17-21
RSVP is now open for free Day shows. SXSW badges/wristbands have priority, but a limited number of Day wristbands will be admitted to Night shows.
All shows are 21+
2015 opened on a vibrant note at Austin-based creative space, The Museum of Human Achievement. The 3rd installment of Living Spaces, Portals’ traveling showcase series, featured sets from JUBILEE, Ellie Herring, Holly Waxwing, and Wez, with an installation by artist Beth Link. We’re thrilled, as always, to have supported it.
Piece together (or relive) the night via this photo essay by Daniel Dorsa, and the sampler mix below.
Our 7th annual Zeitgeist! In our roundup of the best music of 2014, we have:
An Album for Every Moment: We asked musicians, music bloggers, and friends to recommend a perfect album for every moment of the year. Use this guide to find albums you may have missed or make a new connection with something you already know.
Top 50 Artists: The most-blogged artists of 2014.
Top 50 Tracks: A set of the most-favorited tracks on Hype Machine this year.
You can also toggle between past Zeitgeists using the dropdown menu on the top. Check them out—good music is good music, any time or year.
Thank you for listening with us!