At our recent UK Monetisation Summit I caught up with Patrick Napier, owner of Brightcove powered music site Rock Sound. Patrick and his team have had to work through the same challenges facing all print publishers: how to transition into an online digital media company. He outlines below how SEO and Social Media has helped him achieve success; and how there's plenty more to do.
Put together by music fans for music fans, Rock Sound prides itself on being first to champion the best in new music. Aimed at 15-24 year olds, we launched as a print only publication in 1999. Slowly, and in some cases painfully, we have evolved into not just a magazine but a multi-media brand serving a growing online community. As well as our print publication which has a monthly readership of over 60,000, we have a website with 120,000 unique monthly users which we run in partnership with Sonic Digital, a Twitter following of over 22,000, and a Facebook page with 24,000 fans. Given our target audience it has made sense for us to be very active in our use of social media, and our efforts have just been recognised with a Media Pioneer award http://
Video has been key to what we’re trying to do with Rock Sound, so much so that two years ago we moved to a .TV url. We also moved to the Brightcove platform at the same time and we have a player built into our home page www.rocksound.tv plus a whole page devoted to our videos http://www.rocksound.tv/tv. A lot of effort has gone into filming at festivals, interviewing bands and getting them to do exclusive sessions for us. We have just launched the Toilet Circuit, featuring acoustic performances in the grimiest locations, a series of 25 sessions filmed, as the name would suggest, in toilets at music venues across the UK. http://www.rocksound.tv/news/
Having originally and naively thought that good content alone would suffice we started to work with an SEO expert who has opened our eyes to the importance of sitemaps, article structure, and integrating social networks into our website. We incorporated these changes into a new look website that puts rich media content to the fore. It launched at the start of this year and the results have been dramatic with traffic increased by over 50%.
Since attending the inspirational Online Video Monetisation Summit hosted by Brightcove I’m conscious there is so much more that we can and need to do. The priority now is to optimise our video content for search, syndicate our content, implement better measurement by adding Quantcast, and upgrade our Player so that it incorporates some of the wonderful social sharing tools now available. One thing is for sure, it’s a constant learning process.
Patrick Napier is the owner and publisher of Rock Sound. He also consults for fitness publisher Weider and has worked in the magazine industry all his life.