Save Stereogum Compilation to Feature 2000s Covers by Death Cab, Julien Baker, and The National | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Save Stereogum Compilation to Feature 2000s Covers by Death Cab, Julien Baker, and The National

Indie Music Website Launches Indiegogo Campaign to Stay Afloat

Jun 29, 2020 Julien Baker Bookmark and Share

Stereogum have launched a new Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to help raise money to keep the site going and the centerpiece is an exclusive compilation of current artists covering songs from the 2000s, the decade the site launched. Among the artists taking part are Death Cab For Cutie, Julien Baker, The National, Mac DeMarco, Soccer Mommy, Shamir, Sharon Van Etten, Dirty Projectors, Waxahatchee, Anna Calvi, Hamilton Leithauser, Strand of Oaks, The New Pornographers, Wye Oak, Ty Segall, Ryley Walker, El-P, Car Seat Headrest, Charly Bliss, Bedouine, Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast, and many others. The site is not revealing which songs each artist is covering, you’ll have to pledge at least $20 to get the album and find out. The compilation will be released in early September. Pledge here.

We’ve been saying it for years and know from experience: it’s not been the easiest time for music journalism, financially speaking. It simply gets harder and harder to make much money from advertising and things have gotten even harder during the pandemic. Back in January, it was announced that Scott Lapatine, the founder of Stereogum, was buying back his site from The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group and the future seemed positive for Stereogum. But then COVID-19 hit and greatly disrupted the site’s ad revenue, in part because there are currently no tours or festivals to advertise on the site.

“Behind the scenes the economics of blogging have been growing increasingly volatile,” Lapatine wrote today in a post announcing the Save Steoreogum campaign. “In recent years so many beloved websites have shuttered or been sold to and undermined by private equity vultures. That’s why earlier this year I reacquired Stereogum from our former parent company and we became a fully independent publication with no corporate investment.

“Our small team has always thought of itself as a DIY operation, which was difficult to reconcile while part of a corporate conglomerate. We’re grateful to finally be in charge of our own destiny. We set out with a solid plan to diversify Stereogum’s business, which currently derives all of its revenue from advertising at a time when 70% of all digital ad spending goes to Google, Facebook, and Amazon. We knew building a sustainable operation would not be easy. But since March, like so many other publications big and small, we have seen our advertising revenue plummet more than 50% because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerts and festivals, historically our biggest advertisers, have disappeared entirely.

“We risk shutting down before we even got a chance to get going as an independent entity. We have a plan to modernize and just need to survive this tough time in order to execute it.

“And so: smart and attractive and generous readers, we are now asking for your help.”

Besides the compilation, the campaign offers various other rewards, including T-shirts, posters, actual Stereogum gum, a Zoom meet-up/party with the staff/writers and other readers, and more. Here’s the good news: as of this writing the site has already raised 61% of its goal, $153,000 of the $250,000 it says it needs. And that’s just in the first day.

Yes, technically Stereogum is a competitor site to ours and you might wonder why we are promoting their campaign. Well it’s a site that we respect greatly, one that launched less than a year after our first print issue came out in 2001. And us indie music outlets should support each other and stick together.

But of course you’re also welcome to do your part to help keep Under the Radar going. We have cut back as much as we can over the years and operate on a shoestring budget, one much less than many other music outlets I can assure you. So you’re welcome to sign up to our Patreon page, to buy a back issue (which are currently 50% off), or subscribe to our print magazine (we’re in the process of finishing up our next print issue after a bit of a print hiatus to regroup).

Here’s the list of artists taking part in the Stereogum compilation (with more to be announced):

Anna Calvi
Bethany Cosentino (Best Coast)
Bill MacKay
Car Seat Headrest
Charly Bliss
Chris Farren
Colleen Green feat. Diarrhea Planet’s Emmett Miller
Death Cab For Cutie
Dirty Projectors
Frankie Cosmos
Half Waif
Hamilton Leithauser
Hand Habits
Illuminati Hotties
Jeff Rosenstock
Julien Baker
Kero Kero Bonito
Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers
Laura Stevenson
Mac DeMarco
Pure Bathing Culture
Ryley Walker
Sharon Van Etten
Soccer Mommy
Strand Of Oaks
The National
The New Pornographers
Ty Segall
White Reaper
Wild Pink
Wye Oak

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.


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