A Kickstarter campaign by LA music writers David Greenwald (Billboard, GQ) and Dan Siegal (Rolling Stone, LA Times) to launch a new music site dedicated specifically to long-form music journalism has fallen $45,000 short of its $54,000 target.
Back in November, the UNCOOL project was launched with the intention to raise money for an ad-free website with a focus on long music writing, one that would act as an antidote to today’s comment-free, page-hit-obsessed, preamble-plus-stream form of music writing that dominates many websites and blogs. It was a fairly noble project for the cause of music writing, in theory – every week there would be one single feature posted to the site with a minimum length of 3,000 words, and the author would receive a fair rate of pay for their work.
In the end, the project raised just $9,229. There are plenty of reasons as to why the project might have seemed an unattractive draw – The Stool Pigeon highlight the lacklustre rewards offered for donors, the corny campaign video and the site’s first proposed feature (about Mumford & Sons and “festivalcore”) as possible reasons for its failure.
This raises other interesting debates. Do readers care for long-form writing today, or is it a mere self-indulgence for those involved in the music journalism industry? Or, conversely, is it because long-form writing is still alive and well, and that readers are happy for both long and short pieces to coexist? Is there still room for a website like this, but with a different direction?
Regardless of your own feelings on the matter, you can watch the original video for the campaign below, and read the three original pieces for the site on the UNCOOL Tumblr.