See Things Differently
There is delicious irony in this story – Hype Machine, in an effort to protect their integrity, have revealed a list of 40 artists who they claim were manipulating their charts by creating multiple profiles and favouriting themselves. In other words, hyping their position in the ‘Most Popular’ chart.
One of the artists, Master Shortie, happens to be one of the artists we work with. I’m going to declare now, it wasn’t us or Master Shortie – frankly, we have better things to do in our lives than create 50 fake profiles.
But the point is, what is the difference between hype & promotion, when is it marketing or manipulation and where is the balance?
For many years labels, fans and artists have collaborated in forming online street teams – dedicated fans who will promote the artist via link building, posting, recommending and favouriting. It seems that in many of these cases, some fans took the time to create multiple profiles on Hype Machine to boost the rankings.
No-one likes to be manipulated and since Hype Machine is Anthony’s website he can do whatever he likes. If he believes this is against the spirit of the site, that’s his call. But by the reaction of some people (here, here), you would think the artists had defrauded a little old lady of her life savings.
The web is full of opportunity for hype/promotion/marketing. Perhaps this crossed the line? Or, what if we had managed to get bloggers to talk about the artist, which are then listed on Hype Machine. Because it’s a step removed is this OK? Or is it because some blogs questioned Hype Machine’s integrity he reacted badly.
The bad taste & anger I feel is simply because Anthony has automatically punished the artists rather than digging deeper and banning the IP addresses or sending a warning first. Why not go the whole hog and ban any artist who employ’s people to promote, market or talk about them?