Stereogum’s Commercial Appeal

Levi’s, Bacardi, Nike, Saucony, Mountain Dew, Doctor Martens, Kia/Adult Swim, Scion, Lavazza and Eskuche. Yes, all brands that have released free music aimed at the music blog scene in the past 12 months.
Most of it has been pretty good, while some executions might be slightly dodgy – it’s not too hard for brand managers and agencies to work out who the hot artists are, which leaves a question of integrity to bloggers who may have once viewed themselves as part of a counter-cultureof sorts. Should a blogger clearly let the readers know when they’re accessing branded material?
Undoubtably there will be more and more releases over the coming months and Stereogum seems to have found a nice solution to posting up branded material that seems to work for both brands and users.
For any brand-related post, they’ll put it in the section ‘Commercial Appeal’, which puts an icon above all the posts, under the caveat that Stereogum is “tracking the brands that are paying your favourite bands next rent check”.
It seems to be transparent enough for readers, while keeping the integrity of Stereogum – and manage to be light-touched enough not to devalue the proposition for brands.
Do other major music-blogs need to follow this model?
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