Chris Kaskie, the president of Pitchfork, speaks about how in an age of growing internet “noise” he’s attempting to provide a reliable source of information.
In preparation for PSFK‘s upcoming presentation on The Future of Gaming at Social Media Week (SMW), we will be interviewing a number of keynote speakers and panelists presenting at SMW who will be discussing the global impact of social media and its role as a catalyst in driving cultural, economic, political and social change in developed and emerging markets. Chris Kaskie is the President of Pitchfork, the essential guide to independent music and beyond. With more than 4 million unique visitors each month and 500,000 visits each day, Pitchfork has one of the Web’s most loyal audiences, and is considered one one of the world’s most popular, respected, and influential music publications. Chris runs the company day-to-day and is an architect of Pitchfork’s growth and expansion into other arenas, such as the Pitchfork Music Festivals and Pitchfork.tv.
Tell us a little about your presentation at Social Media Week.
I’ll be discussing a few things during my presentation. Obviously, I will be covering a bit about what Pitchfork is, how we do what we do, and I’ll talk about our place in the music world. But I’ll also be pulling back to discuss how the music industry is changing, as well as how content (music and beyond) is being absorbed in a completely new way that can be both exciting and frustrating.
How has music consumption changed with the popularity of social media and digital distribution? Has the growth of peer-to-peer sharing and digital channels for recommendation had an impact on the creative process?
Social media is helping people find and access content that interests them, but there is so much noise out there that it’s becoming harder to find trusted sources of information. So our goal, and one of the things I’ll be talking about, is to be that trusted destination for people. Music fans and beyond.
We have noticed that there is a growing need for services that help curate people’s entertainment libraries. By identifying and analyzing the preferences pulled from an individual’s interest graph, the topics trending within their social networks and direct recommendations from their peers, new platforms are creating personalized entertainment channels that streamline the process of managing existing content, while aiding in the discovery of new music, videos, books and other media. Is this trend towards smart personalization likely to continue?
I’m not sure I’d define it as a growing need, but there is definitely a growing trend of things like this. By its nature, Pitchfork is not an automated recommendation process. We are a personalized filter, your “peer” helping you filter through all the noise in the music world, and also helping you to understand it. That said, as we look to expand ways in which people engage with our content, things that are happening on social networks – we look at our content as a pivot point for both discovery and discussion. We offer context and discussion in addition to just the music itself. Some folks are less invested and prefer a passive and smart, automated/recommendation process. Using social networks to spread this message is important to us, and there is no doubt that for those that are less “personal” about their discoveries, it will expand at a MUCH larger rate.
What else are you looking forward to at SMW?
Well, social media to me is still a great unknown in terms of how to best use it as a company and how to use it personally. I find myself thinking about what I should be doing more than I’m actually doing. So with all of the great topics, speakers, and people at this conference, I look forward to listening and learning all I can.