Every year, with every Year in Review, I discover (sometimes surprisingly, sometimes not so much) that the 12 months being recapped have been better than the years before. But 2014 was such a standout year – in pretty much every way – that I’m unsurprised it’s been our best on record.
2014 in total site visits
Smashing 2013 vs. 2012, last year the FKOF website had a 60% year-on-year growth in total visits – and a 50% YoY increase in unique visitors. And, we managed a 55% (slightly better than 2013’s 10%!) increase in pageviews. As far as geography goes, we had visits from 156 countries (+8% on 2013) – not bad for a site with only organic marketing! I’m pleased to note FKOF2.0‘s mobile optimisation is still doing its job – last year brought nearly 23,000 mobile viewers, a 111% YoY increase across mobile and tablet visits. Amazing!
2014 opened with a few trips to Europe. January and February were both rather busy, with the FKOF team heading to Rotterdam in the first month of the year to party with Blendits. It was an unofficial FKOF takeover – but with Kaiju, TMSV, MC Swift and The Illuminated on the lineup, it was a celebrated as a FKOF fam dance. And then some! You can see Luiza’s amazing photos here.
A month later, I made my way to Lithuania to visit the Soundboys collective – a group we’d spend quite a lot of time collaborating with across the following year. Seeing Goth-Trad live, visiting Vilnius and meeting everyone was an experience I’ll never forget. You can see the event photos here.
In between the adventures, FKOF once again won Best Website in the 2013/2014 Dubstepforum Awards. Another huge honour to match our 2012/13 win. We celebrated with an introducing feature with the Valac boys; a duo who have since gone on to great things with Encrypted Audio and more.
We also witnessed exponential growth on the FKOF SoundCloud account – reaching 1M plays in early 2014 and then doubling that number a mere eight months later. As you can see by our activity graph, things are starting to get a bit silly on FKOF SC! The uploads appeared with frightening regularity over the last 12 months, with near daily mixes, promos and FKOF free downloads being consumed at an ever-increasing rate. Big love to Bogdan Onciul for pressing play on FKOF SC uploads nearly 2,500 times last year (you win our love and thanks for being our most enthusiastic SC follower of the year). We’re fast approaching 20,000 followers on the account – having reached 5,000 on the FKOF Mixcloud late last year – with engagement doing very well on both platforms. Oddly, though, 2014’s most popular FKOF Free (by plays) was our 2013 Hail Di King. It’s not that odd though, because it’s an anthem. Out to Dubfreq each and every!
SoundCloud brings us, quite nicely, to popular FKOF content in 2014. Without a doubt, 2014 will go down in our history as the year we partnered with Dubbacle and the team to bring you 30 Minutes of Bass Education. What started as a wicked idea has grown into the most popular content we’ve ever created – three 30BE articles feature in the top 15 all-time posts on FKOF with Mala‘s taking the #1 spot as our most popular post.
Ever. And it was the year’s most popular mix!
Which is pretty damn cool! As far as most popular content for 2014 goes, our premiere of The Algorithm’s Octopus was the second most popular article of the year (after Mala), with my chat with Matty G taking the top spot for the year’s most popular interviews. Our guest post from Fokus’ Cimm seemed to (unsurprisingly – given its content) resonate with a lot of you, as did our remix competition with Tribe12 and free album with Bacon Dubs.
2014 was also a pretty good year for FKOF projects.
Our second 20-track compilation album drew praise, but seemed (if I’m being brutally honest) to struggle with sophomore slump if we compare 01 sales to 02. Which I find odd as I thought FKOFUn/Known02 was on par – if not better – than 01. Something to look at if and when I sit down to do 03.
In March, we celebrated FKOF’s fourth birthday with the most popular FKOFCOMP I’ve ever done. But when you look at the prize list, that kind of makes sense! Thanks again to everyone who entered the raffle, and congratulations again to our winners. To those that did purchase a raffle ticket, pat yourself on the back because you contributed a significant amount towards rolling these out to ~300 of you (more news very soon)…
The label went from strength to strength during 2014, and I’m delighted to announce we sold nearly four and a half thousand(!!!) units last year. That’s proving that you guys are willing – on the most part (there’s always the odd dickhead who spoils it for everyone else) – to support our artists, our work and our music.
Who says dubstep’s dead?
Looking back at the things I wanted to improve on at the end of 2013, events was the biggest area I felt could be improved on. I’d say, looking back at 2014, we’ve achieved that.
We had our summer FKOFBlendits takeover, our first ever dance on American soil, a gig at Bristol’s Thekla and FKOFSoundboys. I’d say that comes as close to smashing the events goal as we could’ve done! And, you may have noticed, we’ve been experimenting with bringing you a digital version of our events. 2014, alongside the work I was doing with FKOF, saw the birth, death and rebirth of my latest venture. It’s been challenging juggling the two properties, but both seem to be flourishing…
So. What’s next?
I want to keep the events going. I’m on the lookout for more venues and promoters to collaborate with in 2015. If that’s you or someone you think we should be talking to, please get in touch! I want to come out to the US again so if you, or someone you know, can help make that happen I’d love to hear from you!
As I spend time scaling Chew, I’m looking for content and new contributors, so if you’d be interested in joining the FKOF gang in some form, please get in touch! We’re also looking at new projects for the year, so look out for things like the long-awaited FKOFv dropping. Is there anything you’d like to see us do – or anything we can do differently? Get in touch!
You guys made last year the best yet. Again.
This year is FKOF’s 5th birthday. So expect a lot of good things coming your way…
Peace, love and respect.
Thanks to DJ The Tornado for his brilliant mixes!
Find track lists, download and more for our Best of 2014 mixes here. They’re also on Mixcloud here.
Catch DJ The Tornado live on Sub FM every Saturday morning 12-2AM GMT. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for updates on his BASSWEIGHT Chicago events.