Panel: "The State of Music Blogs"
Participants: Jesse Ervin (EMI/Capitol), Nicole Poulos (Sideways Media), Greg Swan (Perfect Porridge), Tessa Horehled (Drive a Fast Car), Nathan Wright

A panel of music bloggers (and one record label marketer) lead the audience through their lives with music blogs, from their humble beginnings to their still-humble current existences. They are passionate, opinionated and devoted to their craft. And in terms of traffic and content, music blogs represent the long tail of music. Although the most visible blogs tend to congregate around the same handful of indie rock bands, music blogs cover all genres and reach far into music's history.

Why You Should Care:
Music blogs are the new music magazines. They have free downloads and streams. They are driving the discussion and discovery of indie and underground music. For hardcore music fans, music blogs are wonderful resources and hobbies. Marketers and publicists need to get to know them.

The Takeaways:
Blogs Are Not the New Record Label
Horehled said labels aren't being replaced by blogs. But Poulos noted that radio is being replaced, to some degree, by music blogs as a medium of music discovery. "Go listen to new bands," Ervin urged.

Blogs Are the Long Tail
Ervin said he loves reading a good post about a jazz album by Grant Green, for example, instead of the indie rock fare that represents much of music blog chatter. Just the fact that the panel did not include a single full-time blogger shows how niche music blogs can get.

Bloggers Are Not Print Journalists
Bloggers post what they want to post. If they wait around for label- or publisher-sanctioned downloads or streams to appear in their inboxes, they'll never get around the posting what they want to write about. And they want digital pictures, links to videos, and links to audio streams in order to take advantage of their blog's multimedia capabilities.

Billboard.biz Panel Rating?
Two out of four. This was a meandering discussion on various topics related to music blogs. Until the Q&A portion, there were almost no practical tips for prospective bloggers, and very little for marketers and artists. This discussion would have been better four of five years ago before music blogs became well known.

Follow Billboard.biz on Twitter and visit Billboard.biz/SXSW for full coverage of this year's festival.