Wednesday, April 12, 2006

How important is 10 out of 10?

The new Mixmag boss, according to the Observer blog, invented the star rating system for album reviews.

That little fact got me thinking. How do star ratings really help dance music record labels?

We have an "out of ten" rating system where users can disagree with our reviewer if they wish. For some reason, it’s hardly used.

Does that mean dance music buyers don’t rate ratings?

The star rating system is great for labels wanting to cause a fuss about how good their music is. It’s an easy to understand way of saying:

Don’t take our word for it, someone else thinks this is great too

But people don’t buy a record just because it got a top rating in DJ Magazine or the NME. The rating system is still top-down and people don’t like being told what to listen to.

So while it might be a seductive idea, the real future for labels is not getting good star ratings. The real future is in starting a conversation with their fans and getting them to spread the word themselves.

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