An Update from the Michael's Record Collection Newsletter
MRC showing steady multi-platform growth over the first 16 months.
Hello, and thank you for your time. While this week’s newsletter is more of an update than story or album review, I hope you’ll find it of interest. The unfortunate truth is that multiple interviews got moved down the line a bit and that, coupled with a busy week that has me attending three concerts in four nights, has conspired to prevent me getting a “normal” issue of MRC out this week. I will make up for that in coming weeks by adding in a bonus issue at some point.
As is the nature of this endeavor, there are some weeks when I’ll talk to three artists over the course of a couple of days, and other weeks there is a lull where nothing seems possible to schedule.
That said, I’m extremely excited about some of the upcoming interviews that are either already scheduled or have been agreed to but still have yet to have a day and time finalized. However, despite not having a story from the world of music to bring you, I wanted to provide a brief update on Michael’s Record Collection itself.
The MRC newsletter has shown a slow but productive growth since its inception in late December of 2020. That growth has been a bit slower than expected but it has trended in the right direction, which is the most important thing. It is possible that the introduction of the MRC podcast and YouTube channel may have undermined the newsletter itself a bit, but I’d rather provide options because different people consume media differently. Some people are naturally readers. Others like to listen in the car or while they work out, which allows them to multitask. Still other folks enjoy watching the videos on their laptop or their smart TV’s YouTube app.
The newsletter version covers the basics for anyone who is trying to decide whether or not to purchase an album from an artist they know, and introduces readers to some new artists that they will hopefully enjoy. It shares some of the stories behind the music but typically doesn’t have room for the kind of in-depth, career-spanning stories found in the interviews themselves, and sometimes an artist will go off an an interesting tangent but there’s no good place in the newsletter to share those fascinating tales.
Shortly after I started this endeavor, I realized I was leaving a lot of great information and tangential quotes and stories on the cutting room floor when editing the newsletter. That led to the creation of the MRC YouTube channel. I needed a place to park the entire interview for people who wanted to hear more from the artist and to provide context as to how the interview unfolded. I began embedding those videos in the newsletter for the convenience of those readers who were interested in finding out more, but it’s not essential to enjoying the newsletter itself. The YouTube channel has grown nicely since the start and I’ve been humbled and delighted by much of the feedback there, because YouTube comments can be quite awful.
The podcast version of MRC was an afterthought. I didn’t start that until June of 2021, although I ended up making those earlier interviews available and backdated them to the original release date of their companion newsletter issues. The podcast is more or less the audio of the interviews posted on the YouTube channel, but with some light editing to remove the bulk of the “ums” and “uhs” and coughs and sneezes, etc., for a better listening experience. The addition of short music clips give a small taste of what we’re discussing.
The podcast has also shown slow but steady growth over the 10 months of its existence. With some new equipment coming soon, the sound quality will improve, which will hopefully help that growth. It’s probably the best medium of the three MRC platforms in terms of helping music lovers determine if they’re interested in purchasing a new album or taking a chance on an artist with whom they’re unfamiliar. But it’s also the most difficult medium in which to make an impact. Most podcasts don’t even last as long as MRC has been going. I’m confident that it will continue to grow and may end up being the most successful of the three platforms.
The interesting thing I’ve found is that some weeks the newsletter gets a lot of hits, but the podcast or video may not. Other times, the video will get a few thousand views but the newsletter and the podcast will have modest numbers. Still other weeks, the podcast does quite well, but very few watch the video and the newsletter has an average open rate. Two of the three sometimes do well and, on rare occasions, all three platforms have good weeks.
And it’s not always the bigger names that cause it. A lesser known artist that posts links to my work can trigger a bigger week than a much higher profile guest. It’s kind of fascinating, but it can also be maddening trying to figure out why MRC doesn’t do well some weeks in a particular medium.
Please know that I appreciate you, dear newsletter reader, for taking a chance on a brand new product that will grow and go through changes over time as I find out what works and what doesn’t. And please know that I am working to make this a better and more consistent newsletter for you to enjoy. My hope is that you are happy to see it pop into your mailbox each week and that you continue to have that feeling over time.
I am forever open to your suggestions and feedback, so feel free to send that by way of replying or emailing me at email@example.com.
Enjoy your week. I look forward to bringing you some of the things I have lined up and that extra issue that I owe you will drop some time in the coming weeks.
Thanks again for your time today. As always, I appreciate anyone who helps spread the word about Michael’s Record Collection to the music lovers they know.