Showbiz Sandbox 145: Rise of Playlisters Marks The Death of Music Blogs

April 16, 2012


Last week Doug Freeman, a music critic for the Austin Chronicle, wrote an opinion piece in response to a Hypebot interview in which Sean Adams, the founder of Drowned In Sound, suggested music blogs are no longer influential. Freeman joins us to explain that if blogs were simply gateways to new music discovery, then the streaming playlister is the new music blogger. New influencers and kingmakers will emerge in a shifting editorial landscape.

We also take you to the first weekend of this year’s Coachella Music Festival where more than 150 acts strutted their stuff to an more than 100,000 attendees. Headliners such as Radiohead and The Black Keys proved to be big hits, but Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg stole the show by performing with a picture perfect hologram of the late Tupac Shakur.

“The Hunger Games” continues to feast on the North American box office, but the number one movie in the world this past weekend was “Titanic 3D” thanks to a record breaking opening in China.

We also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including Mel Gibson’s public fight with a screenwriter, an extended run for “Game of Thrones” and an anti-trust lawsuit against major publishing houses.


‘Battleship’ Boldly Opens More Than a Month Early Overseas

Box Office Report: ‘Titanic 3D’ Launches to Record Numbers in China

‘Titanic’ in 3-D Has Even Higher Chinese Debut Than Originally Projected

‘Hunger Games’: Gary Ross Will Not Direct Sequel ‘Catching Fire’

‘GMA’ Appears to Nudge ‘Today’ From Top Spot After 16 Years

Coachella 2012 Is A Snapshot of Pop Music In Wonderful Disarray

Drowned In Sound Founder Sean Adams On The Decline Of MP3 Blogging

Opinion: The End of Music Blogging and the New Editorial Voice of Streaming

Spotify Adds Free Music Play Button For Web Sites, Blogs & Tumblr

Jeff Tweedy & Wilco Experiment With Dynamic Concert Ticket Prices

Court Documents Reveal Live Nation Paid $2.9 Million In Kickbacks By NJ Venues

‘Game of Thrones’ Renewed for Season 3

Mel Gibson vs. Joe Eszterhas: Did Anyone Win This War of Words?

Axl Rose Publicly Declines Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

Major Vertigo Embarassment

Musical by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim Part of Next Public Theater Season

‘Walking Dead’ Creator Robert Kirkman Developing New Show for AMC

F. Gary Gray in Talks to Direct N.W.A Movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’

Teller of Penn & Teller Breaks Silence To Sue Over Magic Trick

Damon Albarn: Gorillaz, Heroin and the Last Days of Blur

Lucasfilm Cancels Plans For New Studio In Northern California

The America’s Wars Channel

‘Downton Abbey’: Maggie Smith Asks To Be Written Out—report.html

‘No truth’ to reports of Maggie Smith leaving ‘Downton Abbey’

Little, Brown Releases Title, Pub Date of Rowling’s Adult Novel

E-Books And Anti-Trust

States Cash In On E-book Settlement

Amazon To Cut E-Book Prices Shaking Rivals

Amazon Publishing Releases Fall List

Pulitzer Prize Shocker: No Fiction Prize Awarded

Amazon Digital Sales Up 29%, iTunes Sales Flat

Dust Off The Old CD Collection, Amazon Wants To Buy It


  • Mgiltz

    I think MP3 blogs created an immediate excitement for new music and supplanted a lot of the energy of traditional print criticism. Why read about music when you can listen to it? Now playlisters — people who create playlists of music available on Spotify et al — are sure to find some creative new role in promoting music and sharing their tastes. If only there was a way someone could have say an hour or two a week, craft a playlist from any music in the world and share their thoughts about it. Wait a minute…that was AM radio in the 1970s!

  • David

    I think you missed a beat in this week’s episode. Where is the Spotify Playlist of Artists you recommended from Coachella? The show was all about sharing with playlists but you didn’t use this opportunity as a good example. You mention the headliners in the show notes but I had to pause and rewind the show to try and catch the names of bands I have never heard of. I have started to subscribe to Spotify recently as my wife and kids consider my music taste old fashioned, the 80s-90s. I listen to more podcasts these days than music, how do I know what’s ‘in’ :)

  • You are absolutely right. Creating a playlist on Spotify or elsewhere which highlighted some of the recommended bands at Coachella would have been (and is) a great idea. Especially on an episode where we talk about how those creating playlists on such services are displacing music bloggers. A huge missed opportunity and I’m not sure how we overlooked it.

    What really gets me is that I’m sure a podcast with a bigger budget (or a budget) as well as a team of producers would have caught this before recording. Sometimes having to wear too many hats when producing content has unintended side-effects and while I’m still proud of this episode omitting a Coachella playlist was a major gaffe. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    I’ll put a playlist together over the next week and post it here (as well as mention it on the show).

    On a separate note, does news about Coachella spread abroad? What is the festival’s reputation overseas? News reports here label it as one of the most successful music festival’s in the world, though I always wondered if that was simply jingoistic reporting.

    Thanks for listening, commenting and your continued support.

  • David

    Never heard of Coachella until you mentioned it, but I can’t say I follow alot of music news and I am probably not it’s target audience, I would consider some of the groups you talked about offbeat 🙂 Here is Finland, Pori Jazz is one of the largest festivals in Europe, how well is this known in the Americas.

  • Pingback: poort()