The dance music press is in a pitiful state – but don’t take our word for it. Because the likes of Mixmag and Resident Advisor are subconsciously saying the same thing. They’re both making a number of changes to their operations at the moment – so what are they up to?

Let’s start with Mixmag. An editor and deputy editor have recently been appointed to their website, after a period when it was rather unclear who was in charge. Patrick Hinton takes the helm at the top, whilst Megan Townsend is now second in command of the Mixmag juggernaut. What will change with the two now in charge, only time will tell.

We’ve also noticed an increase in the number of paid-for articles on their website – a development Ears To The House doesn’t welcome, because it now means you can get your own message in your own words in the publication simply if you have enough money. This simply makes Mixmag even more dependent on their advertisers and sponsors – it’s no wonder they didn’t stand up to Carl Craig, is it?

Over at Resident Advisor, the pandemic appears to have shook them right up – having noticed that both advertising and ticket sales ended up falling massively. The bail-out by British taxpayers to the tune of £750,000 is not something Resident Advisor is going to forget any time soon – not least because publications like ours keep reminding them of it.

So in a hunt for a more steady source of income, they’ve decided to launch their own “creative studio”, as they’re calling it. It’s called 23:59 and they join a whole legion of other companies who have their own. Someone somewhere at Resident Advisor HQ obviously noticed there’s something in it when so many others have one, and decided to try it themselves.

But what is a creative studio? They’re normally referred to as creative agencies, and as Huddle Creative explain…

“Creative agencies focus on helping companies to achieve business goals by developing a brand, deploying a bespoke marketing strategy and creative approach, and then providing other digital solutions like mobile apps, creative work, content creation, visual elements and website design. All of these elements are designed to help a brand talk directly the the company’s audience in a compelling creative language.”

In other words, one of their jobs is they help advertisers create adverts – which in this case they can then put on Resident Advisor’s own site. They also co-ordinate brand partnerships, something which you might have seen mentioned on Instagram in the past. The right one at the right time can be extremely lucrative.

We also suspect Boiler Room being purchased by DICE will have concentrated minds too. A more joined-up effort by Resident Advisor’s competitors is not in their interests, and there are more ticketing companies in existence these days. It remains to be seen whether, in the long term, all this starts to affect the editorial lines at the organisation.

We shall be watching…