How do you enjoy supporting the music you love?

How do you enjoy supporting the music you love?
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

What’s felt good? What seemed grubby?

What feels fine for “creators” (podcasters, YouTubers, journalism, etc), but doesn’t - for whatever reason - seem to make sense for music?

I’m working on a series of Drowned in Sound podcasts and potentially some essays/newsletters about ‘the financialization of fandom’ and curious of your thoughts.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed using Twitch to support some YouTubers like Munecat and media outlets like TYT but not found musicians/DJs/labels I love on there (side note: often just finding and reconnecting with artists as platforms fragment is one of the biggest challenges... with each social snake skin we shed, we lose touch with the things we once adored)

Sometimes I timeout of subscriptions. I’ve not kept up Patreon subs for some podcasts as I don’t have time/£ to justify the costs. Most music(ian) pods often seem like marketing rather than a destination in their own right so often isn’t even the option to pay for an ad free or extended episode. And perhaps we’ve become too accustomed to getting that sort of access and illumination for free? Like, I really adored Shirley Manson’s The Jump podcast, where she’d speak to artists like Alanis and Robyn about one song, but it doesn’t seem like it’s coming back for another series (would definitely support it or even commission it if I found the right brand / investor partner!)

I really love a few Substacks but I have email overwhelm and don’t always have time to keep across them so haven’t upgraded to premium for many. Newsletters, for me at least, often feel less like aching in the place where I used to play, and more like play in the place where I work-work-work. At least Substack and Medium have separate apps to read in, which I definitely recommend getting if you have similar mild woe to worrying levels of hate toward email.

I’ve also noticed most musicians use mailing lists as marketing tools, rather than an enriching newsletter - Patti Smith’s feels like an exception to that, and her voice note approach is really wonderful. Less like podcasts, and more like little audio letters. They make me feel as if I’m part of a fanclub, rather than catching the bits that cut through to my Instagram feed.

I subscribe to a few music journals like Gold Flake Paint. And over the years publications like New Statesman, Loud & Quiet, Delayed Gratification, Huck and New Philosopher. Loved getting the magazines but started to slowly find myself without the time to actually read most of them (juggling consultancy work with artist management and other jobs has been a lot...) and sadly became costs I had to cut.

Mostly I support the artists I love through buying merch and gig tickets, and you can never have enough black t-shirts and hoodies, right? [Natalie Portman squints] Right!?

Have sometimes felt like my pay what you can Bandcamp purchases have been more like donations than because I want/need to own the files. Perhaps because collecting files klangs with access to the music, which I can get regardless. I’m really intrigued by their subscription format and curious if anyone has enjoyed that?

Anyway, all that said, I’m asking for your thoughts because Bandcamp Friday will reach its third anniversary in a few weeks time and I’m doing a range of podcast interviews and pieces about what’s next for music fans and what else is/isn’t currently working (I apologise in advance if I start overusing analogies about Discord servers being like waiting for an aftershow to start and paying to entertain yourself...).

In other news: third edition of the podcast is out later today. It’s about TikTok, speaking to a musician who I think has a great way of explaining how to approach the platform and we dig in to how to be authentic on it. Recording next week’s episode later with an expert in ChatGPT, in case you have any thoughts or queries.

Bye for now


RELATED LINKS - her video on the manosphere is a great introduction. Would recommend her documentary length explainers to fellow fans of Adam Curtis meets Charlie Brooker. - really love getting voice notes from Patti as she travels the word. The original influencer continues to show us the way. - a rare thing: a left wing news network. They’re US-based so go live around 5pm GMT each day. - The Jump with Shirley Manson is only on Spotify. Recommend starting with the Angel Olsen ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’ episode which was a real gem. - Yancey who co-founded Kickstarter is working on a fascinating project called Metalabel (I attended their summer school of talks from people like Holly Herndon, XR and TedTalks) and they recently released a book that you can download for free called After the Creator economy that’s well worth a read. This blog post sums up some key points. - if you’ve not heard of Delayed Gratification magazine, this a great read, digesting the news from each quarter. Beautiful infographics too. - a brilliant music journal. The editor used to be a regular on our forums and wrote for us for a bit too.