How many music journalism magazines left in this current age? While the exact amount remains unknown, it is undeniably declining since there has been news that some of the biggest entertainment is on the verge of collapsing. In the UK, the leading music magazine, NME, has been discontinuing the weekly paper-based journal after an intense 66 years of influences in the field, leaving only the website and sporadic special issues. Similarly, the legendary Rolling Stone has cut their bi-weekly release to the monthly ones, which is definitely shocking mainly because the enterprise is among the top 5 publications worldwide. Well, it has to be admitted that unlike the flourishing 20the century where magazines play a prominent role in the entertainment industry, the scene has changed significantly.
But no. Contrary to everyone’s expectation, music journalism isn’t dead; it evolves.
The migration of music journalism platforms from the physical magazine to the internet marks the adaptation in the media in order to survive the online era. Numerous media companies have discarded the traditional approaches and embrace the fully-online system, while contrastingly, others tend to engage in the 50:50 model. Yet, certain rare breeds decide to find their unique niches, exploring the opportunities and creating some unthinkable ideas. One of these unconventional companies is undoubtedly The Old School Project, a sporadic event organizer and café X radio internet projects based in Greece.
Albeit its success of organizing two prominent indie festivals and operating an on-air radio X café, The Old School Project also has embraced the alteration and tried to progress from its initial root. While staying strong in the music fields, it has spread the wings, becoming a well-established media offering various industry-concerned features. You will be able to find anything on its webpage, from reviews to personal band pages.
It is considerably rare for music-focused publication to have a wide range of features, making the all-you-can-serve scheme that The Old School Project provides is undoubtedly an innovation. From the business perspective, having diverse sub-services or multiple products under one flag is pretty typical as it will cut the expense. Besides, the tactic can also be considered a smart move since it will be more captivating for the clients.
However, being exclusive alone is never enough. The media also needs to provide exceptional quality in the articles and effectiveness on each promotional campaign. So, the question will be: does this jack of all trade scheme affect the excellence of its programs?
To understand this, each features The Old School Project promotes needs to be broken down.
The first and probably the most well-known service showcased by The Old School Project is the band promotion. Starting with only €6,20 for 15 days, the company will become the group’s fidus Achates, providing a personal page on the website and promoting the latest works or events. Those who are eager to promote using the radio facility that the enterprise has to upgrade the bundle to at least “Titanium,” which cost €24,80 monthly.
Novices in the music industry may probably see the cost as a waste of money, as there are certainly more affordable options, such as Google or social media Ads. But unlike the other auto-generated advertisement, The Old School Project tends to hit right on the target market since its webpage and social media followers consist of pure music enthusiasts who know how to appreciate one’s work. Bottomline – the bundles are worth the price.
Besides the already-fascinating band promotion, the enterprise also offers another enthralling addition: the review. By only adding €80 for each, The Old School Project will provide an honest review created by professional journalists who understand music from aesthetic and theoretical perspectives. The appraisal will not only cover the songs but also encompasses the activities in general and social media presence. Truthfully, the profoundness and honesty hook me up; in the modern entertainment business full of deceptions and falsehoods, a bold, sharp review is definitely needed to provide an unbiased benchmark for the industry and guide fellow newcomers.
Aside from musicians, the studio or agency that needs the bigger platform for promoting their proteges can benefit by using the advertising features dedicated for labels, starting from only €10,00 for 15 days trial. It works similarly with the band promotion, but the client can add up to five groups on the personal page. For one who needs to draw bigger crowds by using their radio facility, they can upgrade to the “Titanium” (€99,20 / Month) or “Slinger” (€117,80 / Month).
Financially, these services are definitely worth more money than the single band promotion, as the enterprise will promote up to five different groups instead of one. Unfortunately, the company offers no other features aside from the quantity, making it a bit unsatisfactory. I genuinely expect more surprises since the price fluctuates significantly compared to the single-band promotion; even the difference is higher than €50 for the highest bundle: “Slinger.”
The Old School Project also provides other advertising services, focusing on graphic designers. It supposes to promote the artists’ artwork, specifically for one who works as a cover illustrator, poster maker, and logo designer. Frankly speaking, the feature seems to be forced to exist and indirectly related to music. Understandably, the company desires to hook the fellow artists who produce the paintings or logo in the music industry. Yet, The Old School Project website doesn’t seem to be the right place. Another two cents; it is preferable to create a sub-platform for facilitating these artists.
Next, here comes the journalism service, a place where fellow journalists are facilitated to build their resumes by publishing the works on The Old School Project’s personal page. While the innovation won’t be too appealing for veterans due to the €24,80 down payment, the young journalists who want to step into the music industry or strengthen the resume will attain considerable benefits, mainly on the exposure side.
However, despite the advantages that both parties can get, this journalism feature is truly a double-edged sword. Writing a band review or reporting an interview is tricky – besides the specific music theories and other relevant knowledge that the journalists need to have, they are obliged to write with honesty yet inoffensive. For newbies with little pertinent experiences, following these two aspects are challenging. If one of the writers makes a blunder, The Old School Project’s name will also be tarnished. Hence, it is suggested that the company have editors or at least one experienced journalist to filter the contents to prevent such a scenario.
Another noteworthy aspect of The Old School Project can be seen in its website design. Notwithstanding using only basic colors such as blue, grey, and white as a background, the excellent combination creates such an aesthetic ambiance without alleviating the clarity. Also, the radio player’s location is on-point, as it is placed in the left area and doesn’t cover up the content.
Nevertheless, there is a flaw: certain parts of the website pages are still disorganized. For instance, on the band review page, the distribution of text and the gap between pictures and sentences is somehow disordered, making it difficult to read. This problem may look frivolous, but it affects the engagement of a website by a mile in the long run. Even if audiences find the content mesmerizing, they probably will think twice to revisit the website, especially after undergoing the difficulties to read the article. Thus, it has to be fixed by redesigning the messy sections using a more reader-friendly template.
It is indeed a charming experience to surf on The Old School Project platform and witness the high-quality, authentic content. The company is undoubtedly an exceptional breed; the creators are bold enough to abandon the comfort zone by bringing something new to the game: the fascinating jack of all trade online services. Specific features such as the graphic designer service and article pages need reworking to engage more visitors. Still, it is just inconsequential hitches.