Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Deli Sells Out

If you're a New Yorker who likes indie music, chances are you've heard of the Deli Magazine, an online and hardcopy publication that discusses independent local music. The Deli is one of those blogs that aims to set trends, discover new talent, and remain free from the commercial and played-out strategies of the "mainstream music industry". For a second there, I thought it was just that. It's something of a Brooklyn Vegan or Stereogum, always looking to write about that group that no one has ever heard of.

The site constantly had reviews of new bands from all genres, and it was usually pretty good. I had noticed that just about all of the reviews were really positive, but I figured it was because they didn't care to write about stuff that didn't interest them. I was so wrong.

Then, to my horror, I got this message in my inbox.

" Subject: "NYC bands, affordble Deli rates!"

Message: "The Deli has some super discounted rates just for you for our Summer Issue, out in early July.

Here are some plans including both print and web starting at $99.

OPTION #1, $595
- Full page color ad in the mag
- 1 month ad on the website (in The Deli's Shortcut Blogads space) 30k impressions guaranteed
- banner ad in 2 weekly email newsletters (out to about 5k subscribers)
- complementary blog entry about one of the band's shows"

Notice the tagline, "complementary blog entry"...

So essentially, for a little bit of cash, the Deli writers will show up to one of your shows and post a review. Doesn't this seem a little off? How are you going to write an unbiased review when the band is paying you to do so? If The Deli really claims to be a source for honest independent music, how can they expect their readers to respect their opinion after learning this?

It would be like President Obama paying a reporter to attend a speech of his and write a review. Even if the writer did claim to be objective, would anyone believe him? No, and they shouldn't.

So now when I read the Deli, how do I figure out who paid to be written about, and who was actually worthy of a glowing review? Answer: I can't.

If I want to know what a band thinks about themselves, I'll go to their myspace. And if I want to know what a real journalist thinks about them, I won't go to The Deli.

read more bullshit @

1 comment:

Felicia said...

NO WAY! that explains a lot. We've been trying to get those guys to do a review for a band we work with and have never gotten a response. Jerks. Now I know why. Thanks for the info.