[This post has been pinned to the top of this thread in response to all the comments in this thread. The original post is below this one.]
As the individual who can see all traffic, analytics, statistics, purchases, activity, and user trends, I try to make guided decisions for the continued development and evolution of Shadowville.com. Many of you have valid points, some stronger than others. Some of you say “Shadowville is just a beat site now,” and in a way some of you are right. So I figure it is time to acknowledge a couple of the concerns, questions, or implications many of you have.
In a nutshell, yes, Shadowville is changing as you can tell by the site and server improvements we've made, and especially by the rate of new beats we've been adding. However, before you cast your judgement on this point, I'd like to make a few things clear that may help you realize where I'm coming from (not in any specific order):
1. The number of “dark, underground, and/or real” beats are just as much as before if not more, but this might not seem so to you simply because more of other genre beats are appearing too. If you wish to see the latest beats of just your favorite genre, I encourage you to click on the appropriate genre (e.g., Underground) to the left as now it is sorted chronologically (or you can resort by other methods if you want) and will show your latest favorite producers' beats.
2. Shadowville.com has much more content now (more than 1000 beats), catering to a much more diverse crowd, and has been steadily increasing in traffic. This being said, you have to realize this community forum's traffic only accounts for about 10% of the site's total traffic. There is a whole other 90% that actually include many artists who are not of the same musical demographic as those who participate in this forum. The majority of the forum users enjoy “dark/underground/gritty” beats simply because the seeds were planted from this kind of style in the early days of Shadowville.
3. Did you know, in fact, that the majority of beats being downloaded and purchased currently falls into the “dirty south” and “pop”, in addition to the “east coast”, categories?
4. As Shadowville is increasing in traffic and popularity, we are refraining from adding producers who make beats with uncleared samples. Samples complicate matters, increase labor for our customer service, and increase possibilities of liability and copyright infringement. Unfortunately, this indirectly results in a reduced amount of “underground” producers since most of them use samples.
5. We are giving more control to producers and we are indeed trying to move away from the “production team” image and more towards the “production platform” type site. However, this does not diminish the quality of the content because every beat upload is still manually filtered and approved while producers are still reviewed before being even able to upload a single beat on Shadowville.com.
6. In the end, Shadowville.com is a business. As a company, we would of course love to see plenty of beat sales and thus we will upload tracks that follow the trend of the music industry. Why? Not just to make money, being a company and all, but mainly because we want to stay relevant. If we were to continuously post the same type of stuff forever, eventually this site will die out, because let's face it: no single music genre lasts forever. Music is forever evolving.
7. Think about how Shadowville has stayed online and remained a consistent provider of beats for 7 years (and approaching 5 years for Shadowville.com) — it's because we were able to sustain enough profit to keep this site and brand going. If we were to cater to only one specific genre or to “keep it real”, soon enough Shadowville may cease to exist! I don't just pull these points out of thin air — these facts are based on solid statistics and analyses of sales performance on a regular basis.
8. We encourage all producers to upload as much as possible and we try to diversify the beats that appear on the site — sometimes you may see a consecutive series of beats from a specific genre simply because other genre producers haven't uploaded beats at all to my disappointment. But what can I do? The site must go on and thus Shadowville must approve what beats we have in the queue.
9. We add new producers not only to increase content, but to address the issue of older producers' decline in making/uploading beats. If we were to keep all the original producers, you would actually have less and less beats on the site, eventually resulting in a dead site and dead community. Sure, we can add more of the same genres a specific group of you like, but this also causes problems for the producers by increasing inner competition in the same type of beats.
10. The biggest problem is that we simply can't please everyone. One day someone clamors for a dark gritty beat, another day some other person demands more romantic beats, and next month it's for club beats or pop beats. We try to address this issue by being as diverse as possible. I'm fairly surprised that everyone is attacking the commercial/mainstream/pop beats but have failed to acknowledge the fact that we've made efforts to expand more traditional Shadowville beats by allowing producer Allrounda to join the production team.
11. There are traits that are common and shared throughout almost all Shadowville beats, no matter from which producer. Every beat has a noticeable melody, good composition, and good mixing… and the potential to become a hit. This is what makes us stand out from the rest of those “beat sites”.
So in conclusion — yes, Shadowville is “a beat site”. But not just any beat site. Did you know that Shadowville.com was founded after coming across too many garbage beats on the internet (specifically, one certain site)? By founding the site, I wanted to reduce the effort an artist needs to spend to find a good beat. No matter what we do and how we manage producers and content, this is our core ideology and mission of Shadowville Productions — this mentality will never change in any operation we do or partake in.
I hope you can all take this in with an open mind and realize that music is such a diverse and great medium of humankind's emotions that it is senseless for us to limit music to only one scope. It is my mission to bring all of the best instrumentals to the largest audience possible. It is my mission so that one day, when any aspiring artist needs an original instrumental — no matter the genre — he or she will first think of Shadowville.com before anywhere else.
P.S. From a personal, non-business point of view, I am rather disappointed by the close-mindedness of this thread. Although I don't appreciate the potential disunity this thread may cause, I still do understand where everyone is coming from. Look, everyone may have different tastes, but there is one thing that unites us all — the love for music, not the love for a specific genre.