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New Media Pioneer: Paul Zimmerman of The POP! Stereo

popstereo730x146Located in Florida and/or the UK, POP! Stereo has been subjecting readers to their warped taste in music for almost three years.

Their mission is simple, to share with their readers/listeners the music that they love themselves and the music that needs to be heard by the masses. They’re here because they believe in good music!

Q) Tell us a little bit about your site. What inspired you to start it?

A) The origins of The POP! Stereo evolved out of the weekly party known as POP! at Eclipse which was started in the Summer of 2006. Dedicated to bringing the masses the best of new and old indie and dance (or as the kids called it back then “disco”) the night took off providing a forum for new music through release parties and samplers. As time went on, it became apparent that something should be done to provide the punters a constant source of new music. That’s where The POP! Stereo comes in. The POP! Stereo was originally started in April 2008 as the companion blog to POP! where by visitors to the party could go home and download the music they just heard at the bar. By December 2008, the weekly had come to an end but the blog took on a life of it’s own. Now over a year later, The POP! Stereo attracts more visitors from outside of the States than inside and is updated daily with fresh content and tracks.

Q) Why do you believe new media resources (i.e. blogs, podcasts, internet radio stations) have become so popular? How have they been beneficial to artists? How have they been detrimental?

A) Blogs and the like have taken off, I think primarily because they’re so easy to set up and start. Since the startup cost is minimal anyone that has a computer, an internet connection and an ounce of creativity can set something up be it a blog, a podcast, or streaming internet radio. The trick is maintaining consistency and deciding whether or not you’re in it for the long haul or the short term.

As for the benefits…These sources of media propagation have allowed artists and fans to connect in ways that they’ve never been able to do before. Thanks to technology, bands have the ability to cut out the middle man completely and retain control of just about every aspect of their career. We’ve seen how several artists have gone from being a small band to being bigger than sliced bread in a matter of months (as opposed to the standard business model) thanks to technology and the ability to spread their message with ease. See Little Boots, Black Kids, and even Lily Allen as perfect examples of artists who owe some part of their success to the Internet.

While the ease of technology has allowed bands to spread their message rapidly, technology has also flooded the market with so much music, it’s impossible to keep track of it all. I think the main problem with this ease of propagation is that quality control has been pretty much been chucked out the window. Now, every band that has a bandcamp/purevolume/myspace/facebook/etc profile sets themselves up as being the next big thing when in all honesty so they are not. For every Black Kids there are 30 bands that aren’t good and never will be no matter what the blogosphere says.

Q) Media 2.0 has changed the way artists communicate with fans. Where do you envision online communication going next? Any thoughts on what Media “3.0” will look like?

A) One word really…Mobile. I think within five to ten years you’ll pretty much be able to do everything you can do on a PC through your phone. We’re already starting to see the possibilities and it’s only going to grow.

Q) What does an artist have to do to get your attention? Are their specific characteristics that you look for?

A) It’s really simple to get my attention…have a tune. If you can write a song that’s as catchy as the flu then you have me. It doesn’t have to be complicated or technologically advanced it just has to be good. Thanks to DJing on and off for 20 years, and having to think on the fly, I can usually tell whether or not I’m going to like something w/in 30 seconds simply by the structure of the song.

Q) What do you ultimately hope to accomplish with your site?

A) To become a consistent and reliable source for new music. It all harks back to our mission which is to share with our readers/listeners the music that we love ourselves and the music that needs to be heard by the masses. We’re here because we believe in good music.



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