Thursday, 3 October 2019

Onwards and Upwards; A Strategy for the Future

Within a few months of this blog commencing, it was presented with the opportunity to write reviews of albums available through the promo network. That was back in 2012 and it became a feature to such an extent that a firm decision was made to only publish album reviews from these sources. Over the years numbers escalated to the point where only a third submitted were ever getting some element  of coverage. The upside to this choice meant a finely tuned filter allowed for only favourable albums with a high degree of personal preference awarded the time required to publish something that was meaningful and to the best of my ability. This time was always competing with listening to purchased music, which had always been kept away from the blog until time came to post those end of year favourite lists.

2019 has seen much contemplation on how to keep this one man operation going with a couple of temporary manoeuvres and aborted policies. Album and gig reviews were halted for a couple of months and replaced by a weekly blog that eventually ran out of steam. The reviews eventually returned and for a time the thirst for writing some thoughts in advance of a release returned with a vengeance.

However, the block returned and another decision to ultimately step away from the advanced copy world has arrived. Therefore with immediate effect, and now at a point where any commitments have been fulfilled, this blog will cease to publish reviews of albums from these sources. The upshot is a new listening strategy to rejuvenate the love of music and to further fine tune purchasing decisions. Of course, the availability of streaming subscriptions throws a whole new light on how we access music and the choices available. They play an important part and are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

So what does the future hold? First of all, who knows? It is envisaged that this blog will operate on some kind of scale as the gig content has by and large operated independently, and the fire to pen a few post event words still flickers brightly, give or take the odd hiatus. You also never know, the odd album review may appear, or even expanded to the world of purchased content, that area deliberately avoided in the past.

Back in 2017, an Album Release Directory page was created to log all albums made available to me from a variety of sources. As the intention is to still keep that keen ear to the ground on what is new, relevant and upcoming, there is mileage in this being at least preserved with updates, and expanded to any information acquired, inside and outside the promo world. This will also help inform listening habits as the new releases roll out each Friday.

When Three Chords and the Truth UK was launched in 2012, little was known that it would sail past 1000 reviews nearly 8 years later and get to the stage where 200 promo albums a year would present themselves as review options. From one perspective that is a helluva win, while another it is wholly unsustainable. It has always been a privilege to be given the opportunity to review an advanced copy, with the obvious additional benefits should that album eventually be one that you love and cherish over time.

So many thanks to everyone who kindly offered me an album to review (download or hard copy) and the honour of being selected as someone who had the potential to write something that could be used to sell an album, which is what promotion is all about. Yes, the ethos was always positive. Life's too short to exert effort on negativity, even if it is construed as constructive.

Anyway enough ramblings for now, there are plenty of gigs to look forward to in the remaining months of 2019 and many on the albums-to listen list. This strategy may prevail or fall in the ditch like others adopted in 2019, but while this post is tagged at the top of the blog it is the way forward.

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