I don’t remember when precisely I started reading Brooklyn Vegan (BV), but I know why I did and why I still do: Access. I like how on-top of music happenings the three-quarters music blog and one quarter music news site is—be it of the New York area or the national stage. There have been instances where the blog was my main news source for a specific music interest (such as the time it appeared that nobody knew if Governor’s Ball Music Festival was going to cancel the it’s third day last June). I love their Twitter and Instagram feed for the cheer aspect of access. I can’t go to every concert I want to, but I can count on them to have a gallery or at least one picture from the show that gets me closer to the show. On top of galleries and show reviews, BV often posts the setlist after concerts as well, and I am a sucker for analyzing an setlists. I also love when they break news on tour announcements and sometimes even publish ticket presale codes.
The blog’s general Twitter is particularly useful and helpful—just last week I tweeted at them a question and they responded—in trying to keep up with new music coming out and learning about artists that are in the East Coast and may be announcing a tour or pop-up shows. The blog interacts with people by constantly Tweeting already published posts or updates from a concert. Facebook interactivity isn’t high, let alone comment engagement, however. Neither is the blog’s “comments” section underneath posts. One common and interesting facet of posts is the embedding of Tweets or Instagram posts from the general public. This feature increases the aforementioned interaction.
— BrooklynVegan (@brooklynvegan) November 21, 2016
I think BV can improve its actual appearance website-wise, because it isn’t as attractive compared to other sites such as Pitchfork. Nonetheless, there is something about the current appearance that sort of fits the aesthetic of a music blog—defining it isn’t a big-name, polished site, but reliable nonetheless. Similar to the Allston Pudding in Boston/Allston, but bigger.
Dave Levine, who is often just referred to as Dave or BV or Brooklyn Vegan, founded the blog in 2004, according to the blog’s about page. The blog is focused in the New York music scene, but has expanded—such as the Austin- and Chicago-based Brooklyn Vegan sites and BV’s acquisition of heavy metal blog Invisible Oranges in 2013. Most recently I have noticed more interaction between BV and Invisible Oranges on Twitter. This may be that I am more attentive or that they are actually interacting more. BV is and has been independently owned since it was started; it is also a member of digital marketing company Townsquare Music, alongside Loudwire.com and JustJared.com.
Web traffic peaked in August, according to a Similar Web analysis, which makes sense due to the amount of festivals that occur in the summer months so there could have been more referrals, galleries or overall coverage of music festival season. Approximately 30 percent of traffic came from a direct search, 21 percent from social media and 42 percent from a search. These numbers sound correct due to the activeness of the blog on social media, and also what appears to be a loyal readership that would seek out information from them specifically.
Nonetheless, BV receives a fraction of the visits that Pitchfork does, according to another Similar Web web traffic analysis. This makes sense, too, because Pitchfork is larger (part of Conde Nast). In a comparison to Allston Pudding, BV is much larger—resembling Pitchfork in relation to BV.
I can’t really assess what kind of revenue strategy it is pursuing besides the exclusive content that exposes ads.
Photo Courtesy Incase, Creative Commons