Last year, one feature of the site, but there's actually some other interesting stuff on there as well, including a discovery engine that lets you enter a popular artist and then finds EMI artists that sound similar. But my favorite aspect of the site is the "feedback community"--let's call it an online market research group--called SoundCheck.EMI's new Web portal, and speculated that the record company might use it as an aggregator site for EMI artists. Indeed, that's
I signed up a couple weeks ago, and about once a week EMI sends me a link via e-mail to a new survey. The first one was rather generic, although it included three sound samples of the same singer with drastically different backing music--standard rock, soft piano ballad, and electro/disco. But this week, they surveyed me about a Dutch performer named Sabrina Starke, who I'd never heard before and sort of liked--her music has an early '60s soul feel like Amy Winehouse, but her voice is purer (and less original). I got to test my preconceived stereotypes (they showed me a picture and asked what I thought she'd sound like), then vote on two videos. If you like to express your opinion about music--and who doesn't?--it's a lot of fun, and you might be helping one of the major labels make some decisions that actually lead to more good music being released.
My one complaint: the sound samples on SoundCheck don't work in Firefox 3, which forced me to use IE8 on my PC. (I didn't test it in Safari or Chrome.) I e-mailed them twice about this issue and got no reply. EMI needs to take a look at the numbers--there's no reason to exclude such a large chunk of its potential audience.