What does it take to build a thriving, dedicated, and loyal community?

It’s a question on the minds of creators and publishers alike and one that’s a defining factor in whether or not success is achievable or if digital dreams fall flat.

One strategy? Find your niche, dig deep, and give your audience what they want. For Lambgoat, this approach has fueled over 20 years of growth. Let’s look at this Playwire partner, their origins covering the small but dedicated hardcore, metal, and extreme music community, and their journey from an online meeting place for fans to a burgeoning metal-media giant.

The Origins of Lambgoat

Let’s take it back to 1999 — practically the stone age of the Internet.

Back then, there was no social media. No Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok or the like. Even so, if you had the right URL, you could find your tribe, a community of like-minded people passionate about a shared interest.

Here enters our main stage act: Lambgoat.

While the community site is now a staple in the metal music scene, its origins tell the story of an idea born of necessity that evolved as the scene it covered matured. 

There was never any idea of growth in place. Alex, the original owner and creator of Lambgoat, said in a blog post, “I had grand plans to… actually, I had no plan whatsoever.” Even without a plan, the site blossomed. Within a year, Lambgoat was the go-to place for a “small contingent of metal music fans,” as Alex puts it.

Over the next 23 years, Lambgoat produced tens of thousands of pieces of content. From news to reviews and everything in between, if it was happening in the metal scene, it was posted on the site.

It became something much bigger than anyone, even Alex, could ever imagine, and behind this impressive growth was a community as dedicated as ever.

But 1999 was a much different place than 2024, and life is short. 

On July 10, 2022, Alex posted his final farewell to the Lambgoat community, hanging up his metal media hat. Of course, it wasn’t the end, far from it.

Instead, it was the beginning. 

With new owners Dave and Dylan at the helm, Lambgoat was about to enter the new digital age. 

New Owners, Same Passion

Dave and Dylan, the new and current owners of Lambgoat, aren’t interlopers. They’re metalheads through and through.

After meeting at a music festival, they took the plunge and decided to purchase the website from Alex in 2022. Before Lambgoat, Dave ran another music site, and Dylan ran a magazine. Their passion for the heavy music scene brought them together, and Lambgoat was a massive part of their musical journeys. 

When they took over, it wasn’t about rebranding, reshaping, or reimagining; it was about keeping the community they loved together and expanding it as far and wide as possible. 

And that’s what they did and are still doing.

But, while Lambgoat lives on stronger than ever, that doesn't mean Dave and Dylan don’t have their sights set on something bigger for the brand.

Building a Broader Metal Music Community

While Lambgoat is just one site, LG Media Network, founded by Dylan and Dave, manages quite a few. The Lambgoat brand had become a staple name in the scene, and this success meant the community was bigger than ever. 

But, something was missing — new blood.

To build the Lambgoat brand and, more importantly, expand the heavy music scene, these new owners decided it was time for growth.

The goal wasn’t just to build up Lambgoat but to spotlight rising creators and help them find success. A rising tide lifts all ships, after all. These smaller sites target all kinds of sub-niches in the heavy music scene. 

These days, LG, or Lambgoat Media Network, supports several newer music sites, with many more on the way.

You’ve got No Echo, an original launch partner, focusing on the hardcore scene, This Day in Metal, bringing the daily news to the fans, and Nu Metal Agenda, which, as you might guess, is all about the nu metal genre — and these are just a handful of LG Media brands.

Dylan and Dave are also recruiting new creators into heavy music publishing as well as working toward growing the LG Media network beyond even the metal scene into the broader music culture scene.

This means finding up-and-coming influencers and brands with a significant following and putting them through site-building-101. This gives music influencers a way to break away from the terms of a platform like Instagram and build something of their own, with LG Media Network’s support, of course.

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Lambgoat Case Study

Learn how Playwire's advanced tools and technical support have helped empower growth for Lambgoat.

Lambgoat’s Monetization Journey

They didn't want to rock the boat when the new ownership team took over Lambgoat. But, the previous monetization strategy was less than effective. Compared to other similar sites in the scene, Lambgoat was far behind.

Dylan and Dave wanted to change that.

But, as many publishers will be the first to exclaim, it’s not as easy as flipping on the revenue switch.

Lambgoat had an ad network provider during the transition, one that catered to the niche they covered. However, that ad network underwent new owner after new owner, and it was clear that change was necessary.

The next monetization partner was less than stellar. While the Lambgoat brand was seeing some traffic, they weren’t receiving nearly enough insight into what was driving the revenue they were seeing. This was a huge issue as the writing and content creation team operated under a revenue-sharing model.

Without those metrics, it was impossible to know which blogs and content were making the most, to the detriment of the writing staff.

This was, to say the least, unsustainable.

Here is where Playwire comes in. Lambgoat and the rest of the LG Media Network family now have access to metrics they need to drive growth, pinpoint successes, and, most importantly, keep their staff happy. 

Of course, that’s just half of the story. With Playwire, Lambgoat also has a dedicated partner. With other providers, they had a hard time justifying adding sites with little traffic to their network. 

But Dylan and Dave see the potential in so many fledgling sites, and so does Playwire. 

Building the dream of a metal music media giant might seem off-key for some other players in the ad tech industry. But when Lambgoat found Playwire, they found a partner dedicated to helping them grow. 

What’s Next?

So, what’s next for Lambgoat and LG Media Network?

Judging by the pace of growth over the past few years, quite a lot. The heavy music scene isn’t going anywhere. Their fans are dedicated, passionate, and looking for a place to connect. While events and festivals will always be a prime place to network, a digital Eden for metalheads is not just a luxury but a necessity.

As Lambgoat grows and builds its extensive network of creators and genre-specific sites, Playwire will be there every step of the way. 

That’s our goal: to be a launchpad for our publisher’s dreams. We’ve got the tools and the expertise; you just bring the passion and content. For more information on Playwire and how we can help your brand, get in touch with the team today.

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