Why Music blogs are dying
Nothing is permanent on this earth, although there is this saying that has been quite popular these days which says,
“Whatever you put on the internet, it stays there forever”.
While it may be partially true as long as the website on which you uploaded your stuff continues to pay for hosting the content. Once they cut off that hosting service, the hosting company will not care what is on their servers, they just delete it right away. We do need to consider the possibility of the content being copied on to multiple websites across the internet, but that is a whole different topic to talk about.
Since the time when humans first began to trade or offer services, there has been one major principle established; The principle of Demand and supply. It does apply to all the businesses be it offline or online.
If you have been a freelancer for the long run, you might often encounter yourself in a situation where you are required to prove your past experience. In that case you may provide links to the previous work to your new employer. Much to your surprise, some of the work has mysteriously disappeared. You try searching for it on the search engine with no results appearing for your work. You are left helpless. The experience you have earned cannot be proven. The websites for which you published articles might have become unprofitable to the owner and he might have just shut it down.
Such a thing has been occurring on the internet for years and would definitely continue to happen in the future. Music, they say never becomes stale. Although the listeners who once loved certain type of music may find themselves with a change of taste and move on if they do not find it on your blog, magazine or paper. The way music related stories are delivered may become stale. The new generation might be more interested in watching video blogs rather than reading long articles. Naturally, the once popular music blog will start showing its age and would pass away like a dying old man, without making much noise. I am not talking out of imagination, or predicting what could happen, but telling you something which has happened in reality. Huge music blogs that used to rake 25 million visitors a day have just died away and no one misses them, except a few old men here and there on the internet.
Take the example of AOL Music which got shut down in 2013 because it wasn’t generating enough revenue. There is literally no trace of the content that got published on that website during its prime years.
Sometimes, an entire website or a product may not go down, rather only a portion of it might get cut off because no one likes it any more. In that case as well, the content published for that section might just disappear into oblivion. Such a thing happened when the alternate-weekly section of the New York Press which focused on Music was removed because it was not helping in raising the income for the paper. Although this time there was an online archive that still had some past copies of the alt-weekly music section. Later on when the paper was in loss, the whole NY Press was sold to Straus Media which just slashed off everything. Much of the NY Press’ work over the years disappeared from the internet.
It may not always be the case that the content was taken down because the company went in loss. There are technical disasters that might happen. For example, the hard drive of the server might just fail while taking backup and now you just lost a recently published article and in worst cases there is no copy of the article on your computer. There is literally nothing you could do other than re-writing it all over again or just letting it go. Hacking is another disaster that threatens the existence of many websites. So much so, that if those who fail to maintain a proper backup have lost a lot of content as a result of cyber attacks and so have they lost a lot of revenue and visitors.
Recently, the search engine giant Google, upon which many of the website owners depend on for their income created an improved algorithm which detects fraudulent links to one’s website. The algorithm is nearly perfect, but sometimes it just likes to misbehave and as a result it removes the website from appearing in the search results. BOOM! If the website was really genuine, the owner just got thrown off a cliff. Many website owners have experienced a severe drop in visitors. From 10000 visitors a day, all they could see is 20 visitors a day. Such false flags on Google’s system have caused many webmasters to quit the online business. I saw this up close when the website you are reading right now got a blow from Google. Soundreview.net was falsely black listed on Google for fraudulent back linking. Visitors dropped sharply and there was no income for months to come. The only way to fix this was to buy another domain and that is the reason for having a .org presently instead of the original .net. It does take quite a long time to recover from what they call the “Google Panda blow”. Not everyone might have tremendous patience to watch their website recover, so the easy option is to shut down the website and start all over.
Staying with the times and the demands of the market is the key to keep the website alive, but when it comes to Music it is all very unpredictable. When big beasts like AOL Music and Yahoo Music can suffer until then point when they had to shut down, small websites are no exception.