Among the very first MP3 blogs were Buzzgrinder, Fluxblog, and Stereogum. Buzzgrinder began in 2001 as a way for musician SethW to fill time on the road. Stereogum began as a music-related LiveJournal in 2002, though its format was focused on indie/pop gossip rather than MP3s. Fluxblog (also founded in 2002) trumpeted LCD Soundsystem's "Yeah (Stupid Version)" in early 2004 brought increased attention to MP3 blogs. A May 2004 story on National Public Radio further galvanized the trend, and today there are thousands of MP3 blogs covering a cornucopia of musical styles.
A significant number of indie music labels, promotional agencies and hundreds of artists regularly send promo CDs to MP3 blogs in the hopes of gaining free publicity. Major labels with small acts to promote have also attempted to use MP3 blogs. In 2004, Warner Bros. gave permission for a song by their act The Secret Machines to be posted by the MP3 blog Music (For Robots). This drew attention not only for the song and the label granting permissions, but also due to the fact that several comments praising the track came from IP addresses within the Warner Bros. network. The publicity generated by MP3 blogs crossed the line from the internet to TV in early 2005, when Music (For Robots) was featured during MTV's Total Request Live program for bringing the Hysterics, a Brooklyn rock band composed of four 14 and 15 year-old high school students, to the network's attention.
In 2006, Rolling Stone did an article tracking "blog buzz" called First Hype, Then Kill with the subtitle "How the geeks who control the music blogosphere destroy the bands they love." It followed the hype of bands such as Tapes N' Tapes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Arctic Monkeys and Cold War Kids. While the article brought exposure to mp3 blogs, it was blasted on blogs for misrepresenting what impact they have on a band's career. According to the chart, Gorilla vs Bear giving a good review of Cold War Kids was the highpoint of the band's career, and signing a record deal marked the beginning of their decline. It also assumed that music blogs have collective opinions instead of an array of many different musical leanings.
Aggregators such as The Hype Machine and Elbo.ws track MP3 blog posts and display the most recently updated posts on its front page. The services are meant to provide a snapshot of what's going on in music blogging and make it easier to search through recently posted MP3s. The Hype Machine features a list of the most popular tracks of the last 3 days as well as the most blogged bands and most popular searches. Elbo.ws has a similar feature listing which Bands, Tracks, and Videos are currently "hot." Music Blog Aggregators have caused a boom in MP3 blog readership and accessibility. Aggregators use RSS technology to collect data from MP3 blogs and link to the individual blog posts instead of directly to the MP3s.
MP3 blogs become the new zines: fiercely independent and opinionated music sites owe their DNA to the DIY publishers of the '80s and '90s.
May 01, 2010; Here's how it used to work, before the Internet: There was commercial, mainstream culture, and then there was everything else....
First the buzz, then the sting? Blogs have proven a useful tool for record companies to introduce new acts to a highly desirable demographic, but the possibility of piracy on these same primitive Web sites is a growing concern
Aug 18, 2004; NEW YORK -- The blog has begun to emerge as both a music industry friend and a potential bootlegging nightmare. Blogs are...