As music has become ubiquitous, music critics, and the magazines they write for, have become collateral damage, bypassed on the digital highway by cheap and instant gratification. It’s not that expert insight has become irrelevant in an era of crowdsourced feedback. It’s just that, at $0.99, an impetuous decision gone wrong is simply no big deal. Besides, you can listen to full songs by just about any artist by searching free streams and MP3 blogs to find out what they sound like.
The subject hit home at a panel I was on Tuesday at the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. The subject pretty much gave it away: “Critical Condition: The Future of Music Journalism” The participants were veterans from the Chicago Tribune, Daily Swarm, Jazz Journalists Association, Idolator, the Independent, National Public Radio, NewMusicBox, Pitchfork Media, URB magazine, Washington City Paper and the Washington Post.