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Paying for Reviews....is that fair?

Discussion in 'audio' started by paskinn, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. paskinn

    paskinn pfm Member

    I have just realised that 'Six Moons' now has an official policy of demanding that any manufacturer who wants a review has to buy advertising space....In advance. The stated reason is that Six Moons wants the money. It expects to be paid for what it does.
    Is that pretty blatant? Or a simple admission that such a policy is the only viable course for a web-based 'magazine' ?
    Could you trust reviews known to have been (in effect) 'bought'?
     
  2. Bluedroog

    Bluedroog pfm Member

    Isn't six moons renowned for only ever having glowing reviews?
     
  3. PhilCTTE

    PhilCTTE Senior mumbler

    They give bad reviews as well surely , regardless ? Otherwise they would lose all credibility as soon as they give a high rating to a piece of junk.
     
  4. Minstrel SE

    Minstrel SE These go to eleven

    NO. Any review should be completely independent.

    I only trust magazines and internet sites that are prepared to completely slate a particular product. I see this more with video games where the range of marks can be 3/10 to 9/10. Based on my own experiences with the demo or game I can then rate what they are all on about.

    Clearly some reviewers are being more than economical with the truth.
     
  5. adam69

    adam69 pfm Member

    I just like to look at the pictures. There is nothing new about having to pay for some advertising space before a review, a bit naive to think otherwise. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, ha ha.
     
  6. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    They've no credibility to lose!
     
  7. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    it's called advertorial or advertising feature, in the old days we would accept copy from commercial interests and even if they tried to copy the design of the magazine I was on we would slap this on in the point between bleed minimum and column centred top.

    No ambiguity and it paid for larger print runs or colour sections when we had to use spot colour sections to keep costs low (usually so we could pay writers the going rate).

    That was 15 years ago, have no idea what state the industry is in now. I shut the door on that, but I would expect a note saying "this article is brought to you by a non impartial source"... Declaring vested interests and so on...
     
  8. sq225917

    sq225917 situation engineer

    six-loons, not an ounce of reviewing credibility to be found anywhere on there.
     
  9. Bluedroog

    Bluedroog pfm Member

    Six loons.
     
  10. teddy_pardo

    teddy_pardo Trade: Teddy Pardo

    In theory that could work. You pay them, they test, and they report what they found. Again, in theory, they should report the truth and just the truth even if they are paid to do it.

    If it worked that way for all manufacturers I wouldn't mind paying and sending our products for review, even at the risk of getting a poor review, but knowing that a good review is valuable.

    In practice however, if you are a big advertiser, and they know that a bad review may cause them a big budget loss they might be more "careful"...

    I think that most people no longer trust advertisement supported reviews, which explains the growing success and importance of internet forums like pinkfishmedia.
     
  11. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    Hardware wise I generally only read the end bits of stereophile with the price, details and graphs,

    Music reviews: because I do not put much faith in the florid prose of writers and journalists, especially these days when I realised either due to me getting better or writers getting more inane, my knowledge of the structural underpinnings of music now outstrips the writer's (even if I cannot express it well); it seems to me okay for modern hifi journalists reviewing music to either invent words or use technical musical terms (as in specific items of musical terminology regarded as canon) so inappropriately or incorrectly that it might as well be free verse...

    Hifi Plus' music reviews were toe curling, it is a waste of space, its so wrong in some of the copies I read a few years ago at Bub's that it actually made me not like reading. That is a tremendous achievement. As Philip Glass advises all composers (and I paraphrase) don't read the content of the review, just check the column inches.

    It's hard to write accurately about the technicalities of music when you have no real musical training and if you have no musical training then you are left with fumbling in the dark and a hand-waving style of writing that epitomises hifi music journalism.

    This trend of writing bollocks is spreading

    I read a boomkat review of a friend's recent release because he could not stop laughing and it could have been about anything. I used to read Gramophone and thought some of the write-ups were pretty good, but I read it (past tense) for the musical backstory and some conductor insights; these days it is actually faster just to pull up the piece of music in question or see if you can order the sheet and read/hear for yourself rather than rely on the blatherings of someone with patchy, limited, self-indulgently wrong or limited knowledge of music because all people have is writing only about intangible emotional attachment-y type things.

    It's very depressing really.
     
  12. colasblue

    colasblue pfm Member

    I suspect most of us on here have long since given up believing a single word of what the Hi-Fi press has to say - and with good reason.

    I think once you realise you've been caught by the dealer/magazine bullshit in some area or other the whole of the veneer peels off and the bullshit is exposed.

    The loss of credibility of the mags came for me over the "you must spend at least 10% of your budget on flashy interconnect cables" foo, fortunately at an early stage of my Hi Fi career and at not too much cost. I bought QED interconnects, they made absolutely no difference and I haven't bought a Hi-Fi magazine since!

    The dealer advice disillusion came a lot later when it emerged that my not insubstantial outlay on an expensive CD/DVD transport (Tag DVD32R) could be equalled in performance by a considerably cheaper mediacentre PC, and also that my Chord DAC 64 wasn't actually better sounding and was a lot more inconvenient to use than the considerably cheaper but not at the time "Hi-Fi" Benchmark Dac1.

    Fora may not be perfect, but as a source of info I think they're better than either of the above.
     
  13. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    Its wrong at every level - I just hope that anyone who submits a product for review has paid there account in full....

    Account in arrears - would you be surprised if you received a poor review?

    Another nail in the coffin for the respectability of our shrinking industry....

    Sad and depressing :(
     
  14. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    I remember talking to an engineer at a hi-fi show and asking him why they used hi-fi reviewers as design consultants, he laughed at my naievty and said point blank "so we are guaranteed a good review, we let them choose the colour of the capacitors, pay them and everyone's happy". Except the consumer of course.
     
  15. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    All Six-Moons reviews are bad.

    Paul
     
  16. Alan Sircom

    Alan Sircom I dü werds, me

    Would you like to write music reviews for the magazine? I mean this quite seriously. The pay is lousy, and music companies have reacted to the blogosphere by not sending out review copies anymore, so you'll probably end up losing money on every review you write, but it means you could join the ranks of the hated.

    Our contemporary, audiophile, and jazz sections are the easiest to cover (and consequently the ones with the most writers), because the readers of those sections are entirely disinterested in the music theory. In the case of contemporary, it's all to do with the discovery of new music, but in the audiophile and jazz sections, it's more about the back-story of the recording and its reissue.

    i.e.,

    "Sam 'Sidewinder' Brent played alto sax with the Tad 'Polaris' Hammersmith Big Band from 1946 until he was spotted by Chad 'Redstone' Balanitis, who signed him to Nike Hercules' legendary Hound Dog label in late 1957. Brent was a natural bandleader and on Let Me Fill Up Your Silo, his first (and only) outing with the label, he was joined by the then unheard of Milt 'Titan' Croydon on piano, Benny 'Pershing' Merton on bass, and Big Joe 'Minuteman' Redbridge on sticks.

    "Despite sinuous reworkings of standards like, 'Is It Meant To Look Like That?' and, 'If You Loved Me, You'd Swallow It', Let Me Fill Up Your Silo was not destined for success. Panned by critics at the time for being 'a musical war crime', Brent responded by dying from a self-introduced rectal obscenity explosion on New Year's Day, 1959. Just four copies of the album were thought to be still in existence (three of which are still being used in urban pacification programs), making the album priceless. As a result, the master tapes were recently discovered in a clogged sewer, and thanks to Clem 'Tomahawk' Phimosis and Bud 'Trident II' Chancroid of the Crap Music Reissue Company, this long forgotten 'classic' is now available on 45rpm triple 200g virgin vinyl. Despite being unlistenable, it sounds better than ever."

    Print a review like this every month and you are guaranteed an audience.


    Classical is a lot harder. I sort of agree about the previous reviewer from a few years ago, but in fairness he was extremely well liked by the readers. Many ask for their classical reviews to be written from the viewpoint of a collector, rather than a musicologist. Since our previous reviewer stood down due to ill health, we have struggled to fill his shoes. Paradoxically, using music graduates doesn't work well here, because they read like they swallowed a Grove and they tend to refuse to leave their comfort zones. So, you end up with singers writing about choral, lieder and opera, pianists writing about piano music and so on. Unless you have a large and varied pool of musicians willing to write for less money than they have to spend to buy the music in the first place, the problem simply doesn't go away.
     
  17. orangeart

    orangeart KJF Audio Ltd.

    This is incredible cynicism on their part, especially given that you can make money selling advertising space on the web without actively selling particular space to a particular customer.
     
  18. Alexh

    Alexh pfm Member

    Why are you all moaning ? Everything has to be paid for ….
     
  19. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    Hang me with my own words?
    Sure.

    I am game.

    I know reviewing is shit pay and no rewards and DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS SECTION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES... But you may have to yank me when I speak of...


    Drop me like a lead baloon if you like. Rip me apart, in public IYL it would be good for me.

    One of the things that attracted me to classical records of the 60s and 70s and the classic jazz sleeve notes was the structural description of the music in the context of its recording, I would see the lineup, flip the disc sleeve over read it had a 12-barre blues section (oh the days when we used barre and staff instead of stave) and an exotic time signature that becomes samba on another and I'd go, "ok!" And take it to the checkout. Now we have Wikipedia and allmusic.com -- that is dodgy to say the least...

    About the 70s the liners got a bit iffy... after that I think there was a sort of year zero cultural revolution that sidelined cerebral writing, that somehow any technical terms might put people off, just dip into any boomkat review online and you can tell in a paragraph they simply do not listen or care. Either that or it is algorithmically generated text.

    Ps with just one coffee... I know that's where my best analysis comes from.
     
  20. dweezil

    dweezil pfm Member

    Surely no one believes much in hardware reviews?

    The language gives the game away; all those daft adjectives used totally out of any real context. Some of those old boys are far too old to have perfect hearing anyway.

    IMO only useful to get some basic specs and nice pictures.
     

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