Last year, Vanyaland posted nearly 2,000 articles to this website, and a small but significant percentage of those were premieres.
In 2017, we won’t post a single one.
Premieres — the act of a website or blog having exclusivity over content, whether being first to present or by blocking out other sites from that same content — have lost their focus. These days, everyone churns out premieres, from your major metro tabloid paper to that new blog launched last week in a Jamaica Plain basement.
And we’ve determined that, at this point in digital media over saturation, they’re counter-productive to what should be a music-based arts magazine’s basic and most direct function: to hype new music and related content that we think is worth a listen.
Our site is at its best when we aren’t paying attention to what other sites are doing. And yet, there were multiple instances last year where a post was either killed or significantly altered because of confusion over who had arbitrary exclusivity over content. And that’s just straight-up silly. In one case, a young band confirmed premieres with multiple outlets, causing some conflict with another site. In another, a song was offered to us as a premiere, until we realized it was actually debuted a few months earlier by another site. Can something be premiered twice? Both situations caused us to pivot from our original approach, and we restructured our coverage at the last minute as a result.
Ultimately, exclusive premieres limit a band’s reach, particularly for up-and-coming or local artists trying to get their music heard. And as websites and blogs alter their coverage based on who premieres what and what kind of domain those sites exhibit over that content, we’re all just tripping over ourselves trying to get likes, shares, and clicks.
So we’re getting out of that game entirely.
Instead, we’ll continue to hype new and cool shit as it reaches Vanya HQ. If another site premieres a song or a video or an EP or an album, good on them. We’ll still be all over it, without claiming the content as strictly our own. And if there’s an embargo on said song or video or EP or album, then we’ll just wait until the lockdown is over and continue to spread the word, to serve our readers and keep them informed and entertained.
In digital media, there’s a great need to be first, and that’s the root of the premiere culture that has spread over the past few years. In our new approach for hyping new music — one that we are calling, simply, “New Sounds” — we don’t care who is first, or who is exclusive. And we don’t care if the material dropped last night, last week, or last month. We just want to hype cool music without parameters, restrictions, or petty media competition that no one outside of the outlets themselves actually care about.