COVID-19 has ensured that much of the world is not the same as it was. Dance music, and its orbiting spheres of culture, is no exemption, and that includes us. Today, we’d like to share with you the next phase in our journey.
For more than 11 years Inverted Audio has been grafting for the underground scene: with +4800 articles published, promoting +3500 artists and supporting +1500 record labels, we’ve worked tirelessly to give voice to the under-represented musicians and imprints, whilst also highlighting the biggest and best names as they release high profile music.
We’ve done most of this work for the joy of it. Over the years, we’ve hosted mixes, produced films and premiered tracks from artists who have become amongst the leading names in their respective genres. Equally, we have worked with names at the peak of their careers, always working to provide the highest quality written content and featuring only the best musical output. We remain one of the few outlets dedicated to reviewing new releases — particularly those landing on vinyl formats — with the thought and care they deserve.
Alongside this, our voice has grown. We’ve been fortunate that the platform has developed from being a meagre personal-interest blog into a genuine voice for the underground music scene. This has allowed us to become commissioners of art, club nights, festival stages and producing an array of films, including Inside Fold and Desert Rave in conjunction with visual artist Rebecca Salvadori.
Since running Inverted Audio has become a full time role for several individuals, so has the need to bring in revenue each month in order to compensate for our time and sustain the platform. Traditionally this was achieved through paid media partnerships with festivals, clubs, promoters and advertising. Of course, that river has now run dry.
We are now faced with a hard decision. The disintegration of the events and festival industry has made the continued management of Inverted Audio all but unviable without alternative income. Having launched our own ticketing platform last November, COVID-19 has slowed down our plans to become an alternative ticket platform for the underground and niche electronic music communities.
Transparency is key, now more than ever. Supporting grassroots and underground musicians, labels, and institutions with the necessary level of detail is time-consuming. The only way our editorial team can maintain this high level of content while remaining independent is by developing new revenue streams.
And so, to the punchline — Inverted Audio is moving towards a model in which we seek payment for promotion, premieres and features that we produce.
First things first: this will be limited in scope. Our passion for the small-scene and burgeoning artists shall not fade, and we will not be “pricing out” these groups and individuals. Furthermore, our editorial integrity remains untarnished, and is not for sale — we will continue to push only the music that aligns to our tastes, and makes the hair stand up on our arms.
We understand the importance of our platform and will continue to help showcase a diversity of artists. What we hope to do now, by moving towards this model, is to secure revenue for our day-to-day work, in order to enable us to delve deeper into the music we love through high-quality music journalism.
As a new initiative, each month we will select and promote an independent record label, radio station, or cultural institution through an in-depth feature published on Inverted Audio, alongside a merchandise collaboration, web banners and social media support — all for no charge to the partner.
We believe that by forging lasting partnerships in order to raise awareness of niche communities we will provide a genuine support to international and local scenes, giving it the coverage that it deserves and sharing the reach of our platform for their gain. More details of this to follow.
It has been interesting to watch the larger platforms make their respective announcements as we’ve been holding these conversations internally. It’s forced us to consider what we have always offered, and what we can do for the world of music we so dearly love. What we have agreed is that our written content is amongst the strongest being produced in dance music now.
We hope that you agree with our stance. Below, there is an audience survey that allows you to share your thoughts about Inverted Audio. For our part, we look to the future with hope to produce even more quality music journalism for many more years to come.