Indiemono says NO to ‘Payola’
SOME PEOPLE CALL US CURATORS, OTHERS PLAYLISTERS, AND SOME TIME AGO SOMEONE EVEN DARED TO NAME US TASTEMAKERS. WHATEVER THE NAME, OUR INDEPENDENT, ANONYMOUS AND IN CERTAIN WAYS UNKNOWN EXISTENCE IS WHAT MAKES OUR JOB DIFFERENT AND INTERESTING.
Lately it’s become harder and harder being an independent curator. It’s hard dealing with certain behaviours that try to discredit, plagiarise and hide your work, and some other prejudices which we can’t fight back. But, first of all, let’s make something clear. What’s an independent curator?
Some people call us curators, others playlisters, and some time ago someone even dared to name us tastemakers. Whatever the name, our independent, anonymous and in certain ways unknown existence is what makes our job different and interesting. An independent curator is someone who makes playlists of different kinds, based on his or her own criteria and musical perception, and tries to deliver a message, a feeling or a certain mood through them. In other words, the objective is to facilitate people access to music, in a tidy kind of way and carefully chosen, with an aim given by the theme of the playlist. Being independent involves no limitations and being able to choose from the whole range of musical possibilities to make your playlist. There’s nothing restricting your selection but your own perception and musical taste, and at the same time there shouldn’t be any devices trying to modify, condition or persuade such process. The engine that propels good curators is their passion for music, and their playlists’ quality will be given by their qualities as curators, integrity being one of the most important among them.
Integrity demonstrates a curator’s value, and it’s the only way to keep an identity in his or her playlists. Some playlisters have been quite renowned within the last years, gathering a great number of followers in our profiles and playlists. Such a situation has turned us into an unexpected and attractive tool in this new era in the musical industry, lead by streaming. The potential of our playlists became so great that, in a very short time, we started being valuable as a promotion and positioning of songs tool. Nevertheless, this is not the aim of our enterprise, and definitely not the reason why people started to like our playlists. The lack of experience and the non-existent advice from this site that allowed us to progress at first, together with the speed in which we became so valuable in this unknown world -at least for the majority of us-, tested the integrity of lots of curators. This is the reason why “playola” appeared and the end of lots of independent curators started, curators who had lost their identity in their creations and damaged with their actions a community that is so spoken about, that few know and nobody monitors.
In Indiemono, we are a little bunch of independent curators from all over the world, with varied musical tastes and playlists of all sizes, but we all share our passion for music as the only engine to create our playlists. Money is not a reason to position songs, and “playola” isn’t the way to compensate a playlister’s work. We don’t believe in “paylists”. The essence of playlists gets corrupted and the playlister’s integrity vanishes. Our value resides in our knowledge and capacity to create quality compilations, not playlists as such. The best reward for an independent playlister’s work is the respect for his or her criteria and unconditional dedication. Only when it’s understood that most of the responsability of the success of certain playlists is due to its creators, our job will be acknowledged, and an economic retribution will be made possible, excluding payments related to the adding of songs. Independent curators are acceptable advisers and tastemakers, they’re also experimented playlists creators, all of these features of great importance in the present direction of musical industry.
Here are some reasons why money shouldn’t be a reason to include certain songs in our playlists.