Have you heard the latest Led Zeppelin interviews? They’ve not been recorded and aired by a broadcaster or a music magazine.
Instead, they’re available through streaming music service Spotify: the third instalment in its series of “Landmark” documentaries about classic albums following past looks at Nirvana’s Nevermind and Nas’ Illmatic.
This time round, it’s Led Zeppelin IV getting the treatment, with new audio interviews with surviving band members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, presented as a Spotify playlist that mixes the chat with the remastered tracks.
Spotify isn’t the only digital music service getting into editorial: Google’s music team made a YouTube “mini-doc” about The Clash last year, while Scandinavian streaming service WiMP’s homepage mixes interviews and editorial with streams and videos.
All of these services have editorial teams compiling playlists too, providing the curation that I grew up getting from weekly music magazines like NME and Melody Maker.
Meanwhile, music site Bandcamp is building a catalogue of reviews from fellow fans about the albums they’ve bought, while crowdfunding service PledgeMusic is providing the kind of behind-the-scenes stuff while albums are being made that I used to get from those magazines too.
It’s making me wonder: are digital music services increasingly the place where we’ll be finding what we traditionally think of as “music journalism”, from longform interviews to recommendations for new tracks?
Not necessarily as a replacement for traditional writing – there are more outlets than ever online, even if the economics of it are challenging – but as an additional channel where the music itself is woven into the journalism? Is Spotify the new NME, or the new Mojo, or the new Pitchfork, or something different entirely?
Via Yvan Boudillet