Rolling Stone story: ‘Sony’s Bandit.FM music subscription service’, October 2009

In October 2009, my first story was printed in Rolling Stone Australia. It’s 600 words on a couple of music/tech issues; not exactly the most glamorous first RS article , but it’s a start no less. The story is below; click for full-sized PDF.

Rolling Stone Australia article from the November 2009 issue on streaming music subscriptions

This was the fourth story I’d pitched to the magazine. Here’s my original pitch:

Bandit.FM: Under The Hood

Sony are launching their Bandit.FM music subscription and download service in October 2009. Let’s take a closer look at the strategy and technology behind the site. Are subscription services really the future of music consumption – as everyone seems to be yelling this year – or is at all hot air and marketing?

What will I discuss? (sample questions)

  • Who’s backing the site? (eg. venture capital beyond Sony’s involvement?)
  • How long has this been in the works?
  • Why launch now?
  • How long did it take to get all four major labels on board?
  • Each artist seems to have a unique ‘content rich’ splash page containing imagery, a bio, and artist recommendations (eg. Who supplies the content behind these pages? Were these compiled specifically for Bandit, or is the content supplied by external sources?
  • How many staff are working on Bandit full-time?
  • What are the advantages of a subscription-based streaming service as opposed to an advertising-based service?
  • What opportunities will Bandit allow for Australian indie bands?

Clearly I was unable to answer all of those questions in the article, but the issues I raised warranted a commission.

Hey Andrew,
Am quite interested in the Bandit story, but only as a short thing, maybe around 600 words tops. You think you can get something meaningful in that space?

November 2009 issue of Rolling Stone AustraliaIt would be good to get perspective on it that wasn’t just from Sony – the main thing is this can’t be a PR piece for them. A non-Sony artist who will be for sale there is good, maybe a comment from someone at one of the other majors. Nokia also do a subscription of sorts, so maybe that’s something to consider…

After submitting the story initially, I was asked to rewrite, as the tone was “a little too “essay”, not “news” enough for one of our short pieces”.

To give you an idea of the timelines associated with the story,  the article was finalised in late August, and it’s only appeared in print this month, for the November 2009 issue [pictured right].

It’s been a great experience, and I look forward to writing many more stories for Rolling Stone. Many thanks to Matt Coyte, Dan Lander, Stephen Green, Nick Crocker and Neil Strauss.

Comments? Below.
  1. Andrew, that’s awesome news! Well done!

  2. Glenn says:

    Many kudos to you for the publication! Keep up the good work!

  3. A Stone says:

    well done mate – watching your writing career with interest. you’re a very talented, good hearted dude. a.

  4. hunz says:

    Congrats my very talented friend. Can’t wait to see where you end up in life. You are the awesome.

  5. Paul & Deb McMillen says:

    Congratulations on this marvellous milestone in your professional writing journey. We are amongst your most interested readers and await our next instalment as you weave your magic with your creative language. Looking forward to the next phase as you progress. Keep safe always Andrew.


Trackbacks for this post

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