While I was (by no means) the only one to encourage digital submissions for music reviews, I was certainly one of the first!
I can remember discussing this concept with several of the other reviewers, most notably Bryan Baker, who was publishing GAJOOB magazine (& still is, I think)… nearly all traffic related to reviewing (early 1992 or so) was done with old-fashioned pen/paper… only a few folks were doing “chat”, or email… we talked about using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and other file-sharing techniques to allow artists & promoters to send us their files digitally. Unfortunately, despite my prodding several of the promoters who were sending me CD’s & vinyl for review, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that this began to take off.
The simplest argument for “doing it digitally” was that it would save postage costs… even back in those way-early days, postage and packaging were a major expense for Indie artists, labels, or promoters who had to do mass mailings… and that was when a single CD mailing only cost (around) $.75 or so… these days (& I know, because I just started pushing out hard-copies again for some of the artists who are using my services), the costs are truly prohibitive… more than $2.00 (nearly $3.00) for one CD…. WOW! Even though digital services were starting to pick up in the mid-2000’s, there still weren’t services (at that time) like HIGHTAIL (formerly YOUSENDIT) and DROPBOX – which make it even easier to move CD’s and cover art around!
A part of this post is nostalgia, I suppose, for the days when I felt like one of the “pioneers” of the digital age…. on the other hand, I want to lay (at least) some of the credit for pushing the idea of digital submission at my own doorstep… for had those few of us not pushed this concept – we wouldn’t have the utilities we do today, and artists would still be slogging their way to the P.O. to spend hard-earned $ to snail their products around!
More on this later – what I really want to do is solicit NEW ideas (yes – from YOU) for the “music business”… what are your favorite methods? How do you get your CD’s (or digital songs) to reviewers? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!