Actively finding an audience

Here I’ll expand just a little on the second of my four keys to the future (which I offered in an earlier post): “Work actively to find your [new] audience.”

What this means, specifically, is that it’s not enough to do what was done in the 20th century, to advertise your concerts, or put up flyers and posters. Or even to jump into our new century, and send out email or put videos on YouTube. Or start a blog, make a website, or create a Facebook page.

The new audience we want to find isn’t a classical music audience. The people in it don’t, at the moment, care much about classical music. So they won’t look at advertisements, and if they do, they won’t respond to them. They won’t be persuaded by posters, assuming they see them. They’ll delete your email, won’t see your videos, won’t read your blog, and won’t go to your website or your Facebook page. They won’t follow you on Twitter.

So how do you find them? You look for them actively. At a college, for instance, you might do what students in the University of Maryland orchestra did last year: Organize themselves into dorm committees, to promote their concerts directly to the students they live in dorms with. Last year they doubled the size of their audience by doing that. I was knocked out. In previous years, I’d go to their concerts, and see half-full houses, made up of contented older people. Last year, I saw full houses, full of vibrant, excited students. (I’ve blogged about this before, in much more detail.)

Others at universities have attracted new audiences, by reaching out to people they know.

But what if you’re not at a school? Suppose you’re a string quartet, in an urban area. You might look for restaurants to play in, maybe for special events. I know a musician who’s done this, and now, looking to promote some projects she loves, could contact people she’s met at the restaurant where she’s played, or see if the owners might be willing to work with her, to make her project in some ways a joint endeavor.

Where else could you play? Art galleries. Coffeehouses. Clubs. Boutiques. You have to be flexible. Could you open for a band you know? Could one of your members play at a bookstore? Could you stage a guerrilla event, showing up unexpectedly somewhere, and playing?

Could you do what Bang on a Can did, when they got started, and pass out flyers for your concerts at  gatherings of possibly sympathetic people, at theater and dance performances, at clubs where interesting bands play? The point not being the flyers, but the personal contact. The flyers then serve as a reminder, for the people you talk to.

Can you play music for theater productions, dance performances, art installations? Have actors, dancers, comedians take part in your concerts? Or musicians who play other kinds of music? (You’ll figure out many ways they could do that.) Can you combine your concerts with literary readings? Can you get involved in social causes, charitable events, both as musicians and simply as people?

Or let’s say you’re simply a string quartet, just want to play your repertoire, aren’t inclined (though you have nothing against other people doing it) to get involved with dance or theater or comix or performance art or clubs or coffeehouses. Can you find one place to play — a storefront, maybe, in an area full of art galleries and nightlife — and play there regularly, week in and week out? Till people come to know you, say hello when you come down the street toward your performing space, come to your concerts out of curiosity, then interest, then friendship?

And as you do all these things — and more things that I don’t have the imagination to think of — you gather names. Names of people who take even a casual interest, or simply are curious. You keep in touch with these people, regularly, in interesting ways, giving them things to think about, music to hear (not necessarily always your own), things to join you in. Writing liner notes for your recording, making videos of your performances, and of your rehearsals. Baking cookies to serve at your concerts, designing your website, making graphics for it, and for your flyers and posters. Form an online street gang (as some people have called it), a group of people committed to promoting you and your events to their friends, families, social networks. Raise money to pay for your recordings before they’re made. Pop musicians have done many of these things successfully.

Now you have an active audience. Even at an early stage, you’ll have the beginnings of one. Now you have people who will read your blog, will go to your website, will watch your YouTube videos. And who, if they see flyers or posters for your events, will happily smile, because they know you. And once more be reminded that your performance is tomorrow night.

All this, of course, is just a start. Once you’ve begun it, how can it grow? You perform in a club. You make friends, but no money. Can you make enough friends to move to a larger club, where you might make some money? Or enough friends to perform in a small theater? To perform in a theater not just once, but each Friday for a month, or for a four-night run? Enough friends to make your recordings at least a little bit profitable? Enough friends to by merchandise you make available, and buy enough of it to pay you reasonably well?

These things aren’t impossible. I’d love to know who in classical music has done them. Or would like my help in trying.

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Comments

  1. Annabelle Clippinger says

    The one thing I have noticed that symphony orchestras who reach out to BRAND new audiences through live concerts featuring music from Zelda video games, or like Video Games Live that feature the orchestra playing the music plus video screenings, are doing a great service. My 17 year old son who is a classical violinist and is planning to go to music conservatory for violin performance next year, attended one of these performances with two friends who had never been to a symphony concert before. When I asked them later if they were fist-bumping the whole time during the concert, one of his friends said, no, we were sitting their with our mouths open in total amazement. Rock on Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra!

    Now will they go to another concert? Maybe Beethoven’s 5 or 9 next for these newbies? Or what do you think, Greg?

    • says

      Hi, Annabelle! So good to hear from you. We go way, way back. And how good to know your son is a violinist.

      Will your son’s friends go to other symphony concerts? Hard to say. I think orchestras don’t often find people who go to videogame concerts (or Lord of the Rings concerts, or other special events) are likely to go to purely symphonic performances. The vibe is too different, the audience too unlike your son’s friends. They might feel like fish out of water there.

      Or not! You might ask them. Though then comes the second question. If they say they’d like to go, will they actually do it? Ticket prices are an issue, maybe, too. Even if they paid well for the videogame tickets, they were eager to hear that concert. Maybe they wouldn’t pay as much for a speculative trip to a symphonic event.

      But you have a little experimental lab here. Let’s see if they do go!

      (The larger question here: Should videogame concerts — and other non-core performances — be thought of as something that generates an audience for the main events? Or are they separate product lines?)

      • says

        Hi Greg and Annabelle,

        When we speak about these topics, the given idea that there is somehow the “real” music (or the real art, or the real mission) and then the “other” – this is itself the problem. There is no substantial difference between “purely symphonic” performances and performances that have Video Game music, or other non-traditional fare. It may be difficult for some to conceive of Zelda as art, however just like climate change this music exists as Art whether we agree or not. The segmentation of the audience is not a feature, it’s a bug. If large sections of a given audience aren’t returning after seeing performances that they enjoyed, then perhaps the symphony’s idea of “regular” concerts is the problem.

        These new music concerts are the main events. These are the concerts that are artistically challenging, and new, and relevant, and popular. It’s difficult to say the same of most other orchestral concerts.

  2. Paul says

    Good topic. My partner is a performer and I’ve seen the audience development life-cycle and its limitations up close and have one hopefully useful insight.

    Our experience has been that there is a cap to the level of friends and family and work contacts and church contacts and neighbors and university classmates that will come, see one or two shows out of allegiance to a relationship and then drift away.

    Sure there will be those who become ‘super-fans’ and truly like the work and will come out on a more regular basis and support the artist but the endless churn to replace diminishing relationship capital usually surpasses the artist’s personal network in the course of say 3 to 5 years. This is discouraging as the love of art and creation continue and yet the mine becomes more played out.

    So here’s the insight for your consideration and comment.

    It’s not solely about the performance or the art.

    People come out with their friends and want to spend time with…..their friends. If there’s a show with 90 minutes of performance and a 15 minute intermission…that doesn’t work. Which is why in venues everywhere you’ll see people talking through a performer’s set. Unless they’re truly there to only see the artist they’ll want to talk to each other and connect.

    So build this human dynamic into performances. Make it a night out…with a side of culture. Not 90% culture and a 10% bar and washroom break. In this arrangement the two work well, almost like a house party with a special guest rather than a sage or stage. People will keep coming back to this model because it honors more than one going out goal – to be with friends AND to support an artist/group/show.

    • says

      Very good thought.

      But don’t some artists build a larger fan base? I can imagine that, just as you say, there’s a limit to what friends and family will do for us. So what you do is extract from your network the people who really are interested, really are loyal, really are committed. But meanwhile, through your performances and everything else you do, you should be attracting new people. And from them, too, you extract your loyal audience.

      This works for people in pop music. If it didn’t, we’d never see anyone having more than a small success. So it ought to work for classical music, too.

    • says

      Wonderful link, Ken. Thanks.

      And of course the 1000 true fans are scalable. For people with smaller-scale success, 100 true fans might be wonderful.

  3. Joan Sutherland says

    This is terrific, and will help some of the arts managers of small ensembles looking for ways to be creative in their jobs. But it all seems to apply to small musical groups. What can a manager of a professional or community symphony orchestra organize in this vein, apart from booking them a few times in bad acoustic shopping malls (not unusual, not too effective). A few thoughts.

    Approach a good rock or folk band, and ask to use a few themes from their more popular songs. Commission a good composer and ask him/her to use those themes in the writing of a Festival Overture, or an Intermezzo etc. Then include the group playing the songs in the eventual concert.

    Approach the various ethnic or cultural groups in ones city for local or non-local musicians they themselves might want to hear from their classical tradition. Include them in a Dual cultural concert which is knit together by a common theme.

    Hold a conducting festival with workshop and a competition but invite the audience in to all the sessions and let them comment live and on the orchestra’s blog and facebook pages about what they notice from their point of view about how the various conductors shape the same musical selections.

    Get a local playwrite to write a biographical staged play about an event in a composer’s life, put the orchestra in the pit or on stage. Play excerpts.

    To introduce the orchestra to the school system, commision the pro orchestra to make a recording of the national anthem to distribute throughout the school system, as well as background music for school announcements. Add other national songs or selections that might be appropriate on other occasions, to play between class, or after school, before a game, or to honour other ethnic groups etc etc. Meet with teachers and principals to discover what would work best. Find out what the music teachers teach regularly and include those compositions for their own class use. And always offer to play at the school.

    Meet with the local city council and plan a fancy ‘black tie’ concert with the local orchestra. The Council is understood to be tremendous supporters of the symphony, financially and enthusiastically, but both can do more to celebrate their city together. All the councilors will attend the concert and be asked to stand one by one and be applauded by the orchestra and the audience. Some of the councilors will have requested their favourite compositions which will be included in the concert’s repertoire and announced by the conductor and/or a member of the orchestra. Following the concert the city will have organized a fancy reception, with perhaps a special theme and centre piece each year. Start looking at including the symphony in City Events to make them more festive.

    Have a local choreographer design a ballet to include a smallish orchestra, the players seated at enough distance from each other to allow the dancers to interact with them in non-dangerous ways! This could be presented in a hall without a stage to better mingle with the audience.

    Using similar seating in a large flat hall with no stage, place chairs for the audience to sit among the musicians, facing the conductor. Hard for the players maybe, but possible with certain repertoire, and worth it enormously for the audience.

    Commission a composition which includes a youth (or local highschool group) and professional orchestra (and maybe a youth and pro soloist too). Seat them intermingled with each other onstage, not as seperate ensembles. However in the composition both orchestras would be given seperate bars, sections to play within the composition and then combined at the end.
    But education and children’s chance to actually play from primary schools on up is the most important of all if the city and national culture really wants to keep a classical symphony orchestra alive, and not turn it into a collection of “studio” players who play background music.

  4. says

    Great ideas, Greg! One additional necessity is to seek out repertoire by composers whose music might appeal to the non-classical crowd. Being flexible toward this is extremely important for performers finding new audiences. Just for example, I created Trio21 in 2011 for the purpose of maintaining the traditional repertoire, and to keep a keen eye out for the future. As a result, we have two cds being released and just signed with management. The cds are not traditional repertoire, rather, a new trio by Kenneth Fuchs, “Falling Trio”, based on Don DeLillo’s 9-11 novel, “Falling Man” (release April 2013 on Naxos), and a new, charming musical adaptation for piano trio based on the classic children’s book, “Runaway Bunny”, composed by Glen Roven (original version for violin and orchestra; trio version cd release November 15, 2012). In an effort to reach new audiences, we will perform “Runaway Bunny” on November 3rd in a small,unique setting, the Bargemusic by the Brooklyn Bridge, which will feature the renowned actress, Judith Light as the special guest narrator. [The cd features Catherine Zeta-Jones as the narrator.] It isn’t easy to establish this niche, but once you do, you can create a momentum which can attract more composers, and reach new audiences in unique venues and recordings.

      • says

        Indeed they are. I think it is a remarkable time we are living in. New technology, many independent recordings, ability to perform in mixed venues–it’s all good. A career in music is not as limited as it once was. For young artists, it is terrific, because they are entering the scene with today’s standards, today’s technology and today’s means of getting their craft out there to new audiences.

  5. says

    I think this is a great post. Although not a musician – I perform classical theatre – I’m thinking about ways this can apply to my company who performs in museums and old houses as well as theatres.

    • says

      Thanks. Warms my heart that you’d say that. I think anyone trying to expand into the mainstream culture faces the same situation. So some of the same solutions apply.

  6. says

    Hi Greg, what role do you think youth orchestras have in actively getting “bums on sets” and developing tomorrow’s audiences. In Australia (where I am reading your blog), Youth Orchestras are so focused on “player development” that in 20 or 30 years there will be many orchestras full of gifted and highly trained players but no-one to watch them play because no-one other than these gifted musicians have been exposed to any kind of classical music.

    • says

      Hi, Gabrielle,

      Good question. In the US, youth orchestras are thriving. They’re part of a paradox no one, as far as I know, has explained — that there are many young people playing classical music, even though (on a national scale) very few young people listen to it. The students I’ve taught at Juilliard and elsewhere say that their friends have no interest in classical music.

      But do youth orchestras actively try to find a new audience for their concerts? I mean one made up of kids the same age as the musicians. I don’t think they do. I remember having an email exchange with someone whose children were involved both in a youth orchestra and in sports. The sports teams, this person said, worked very hard to get friends and family of the players to come to games. But the youth orchestra didn’t do nearly as much to attract people to its concerts.

      I don’t think the problem is that the possible audience doesn’t know enough about classical music. I think it’s that the youth orchestras don’t do enough to make their concerts appealing/interesting/exciting.

  7. says

    Greg, I think those who are most successful finding a new audience avoid calling their music “classical”. It is a very hard sell with music lovers who’ve been conditioned to go deaf whenever they hear this word that is rarely used in any other context. It would be a better draw to describe the music as “classically-inspired” and let them discover it’s classical. Sometimes I just try to diffuse the word by explaining (right or wrong) that the Olympics and democracy were also inspired by the ancient Greeks of the classical period. I would try “art music”, “great music”, “written music”, “concert music”, “historic music”… “Classic music” means something else; usually NOT classical. I’m in favor of using the term “NEW classical” or “classical 2.0″ for refreshing new concert formats or arrangements.

    We need terms that make folk curious to discover more. Even “culture” seems like an off switch. If new folk feel like we’re offering them dry vegatables like brussel sprouts, how can we make it sound like juicy cheeseburgers or something irresistably delicious?

    • says

      These are fascinating questions, Rick. We should try many answers to them, like the one you’re suggesting here. Another approach would be to trumpet the fact that the music is classical, but say equally loudly that we’re doing it differently. I’ve found that this idea wakes people up. That’s why I like the term “indie classical” — suggests (on the model of indie rock) that it’s something new, outside the mainstream. (Though of course indie rock has developed a mainstream of its own. We in classical music should be so successful!)

  8. says

    Hello Greg,

    I’m thrilled to have found your blog here; it’s clear that the BIG QUESTION dogging classical musicians is the exactly the same question keeping the classical music record labels producers and execs up at night: how to compete with YouTube and MTV for the microscopic attention spans of the under-30 population suffering from congenital “ADD”?

    Answer: You fight fire with fire by giving them “Classical MTV”.

    Here’s how we did it on Vimeo, Behance and hundreds of video sharing sites around the globe:

    1.”The Baroque 24/7 Gallery” on the Behance Network : http://bit.ly/Uvzb39
    2.”The Greatest Show in the Universe” on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/channels/nobodydoesitbetter
    3. Parry-Jerusalem (baroque247.com) https://vimeo.com/45801329
    4. Arne-Rule,Britannia! (baroque247.com) https://vimeo.com/45277289
    4. Purcell-Fantasia -Three Parts Upon A Ground (baroque247.com)
    http://youtu.be/0Y0mPwoPW4A?hd=1

    What’s interesting here is that the demos we created originally on Vimeo were a mixed bag, with the classical selections from our radio station baroque247.com only making up less than a third of the gallery.

    Since we started posting in May, to our amazement, it was the classical videos which consistently received the highest overall rankings (just this evening we read that in Japan, our video “Jerusalem” was voted that country’s “best musical anthem”)!

    Keep in mind that the entire concept of selling classical music via MTV was only an “afterthought” to promote our 320.48KHz “audiophile mp3″ music codec developed especially for the classical music market.

    For more information about HDAudioPlus “audiophile mp3″ together with music samples for evaluation please refer to our commercial websites :
    http://hdaudioplus.com
    http://baroque247.com

    Obviously the entire problem won’t go away overnight simply by feeding the public MTV classical music videos.

    But it ain’t such a bad start, either!

    Best regards,

    Paula Wertheim
    Executive Director-HDAudioPlus/Baroque 24/7
    email: hdaudioplus@gmail.com

    • says

      Hi, Paula,

      Thanks so much for this. I’m eager to see the videos. And I love your creative response to a complex problem. Which, as I think we’re finding, has many overlapping solutions. Including yours!

      With all respect, though, I’d be wary of saying that younger people have short attention spans. They play videogames, which (hard as it may be for some older people to believe) require long, focused attention. (See Steven Johnson’s ironically titled book, “Everything Bad is Good for You.”) More to the point, younger people _design_ videogames, programming them for hours on end. They design websites. They create apps (hours and hours of programming, once more).

      They make films. They produce albums and videos. You can watch Project Runway and Top Chef, and see younger people give long, rapt attention fashion they design, and meals that they cook. And what about young entrepreneurs, creating new companies? They couldn’t do it if they had to be distracted at every moment.

      The lesson here, I think, is that people pay attention to what they want to pay attention to. We have a new generation (or, by now, more than one) that doesn’t pay attention to some of the things we like, classical music included. Which might be something we could or should try to change. But it’s no reason to say they won’t pay attention to anything that isn’t short and lively.

      • says

        Uh,oh. Please excuse me a sec while I remove foot from mouth…

        First of all, I sincerely apologise to anyone who felt slighted by that remark. I see that an explanation is in order:

        Back the 60’s, when kids wanted to check out new music, they had Cousin Brucie on AM radio. Today, MTV is king. Wanna sell music? You’d better have a “killer” video, first.

        The limited audience attention span is a fact which YouTube makes no secret of. They’ve even measured it: 10-15 seconds. A few seconds is all any video has for the “elevator pitch” before people lose patience and click elsewhere.

        That worrisome statistic presents a tremendous challenge for anyone attempting to capture a new audience via YouTube. It means that in the time it takes for a typical classical piece to even get rolling (20-30 seconds generally) the audience would be long gone…

        I agree with you Greg, that people of any age have the ability to pay attention to whatever interests them. But first you have to engage that interest. When it comes to video, a few measly seconds is all you have .

        • says

          Right, Paula. Good clarification. This is true of me, too. I don’t have much time to give videos a chance, so if I don’t have a good reason in advance to watch one, it’ll lose me pretty quickly. Press releases lose me even faster. I’d give them five seconds, as a rule.

          But this — for me, and for kids looking for new music — is because there’s so much out there. Not because we have problems with attention in general.

          And I fear it’s no longer true that people who like pop music discover new music through videos, And certainly not through MTV! MTV, in fact, all but got out of the music video business some years ago, and has only recently started showing videos again. What happens with videos these days is deeply instructive, for those of us from another age group and another subculture: Kids make videos for their favorite artistis. Including artists who aren’t famous at all. Obviously they need long attention spans to do this. And the artists benefit, as a rule, far more from the fan-made videos than they do from anything they make themselves.

          This is one of many examples of how participatory our culture has become. Which I’d say is exactly the opposite of what would happen if people couldn’t concentrate for more than a few seconds.

          How do people discover new music? One important way is through services like Pandora, which provide you with streams of music based on tastes you specify. I love Lucinda Williams, so I created a stream based on her, which brought me other singer-songwriters I mostly didn’t know about, all with a country/roots flavor. I have geek genes, and I read tech blogs. Often they’ll talk about what apps and online services people use, and when it comes to music, you often find the people they’re surveying say they look for new music, and use services like Pandora to do it.

          NPR’s music site would also be a great place to look. I might be talking here, Paula, about older people than the ones you’re aiming at on YouTube, but I think the principle is the same. Videos aren’t crucial now for discovering new music, as they were in the past. Doesn’t mean that a lot of curious people aren’t trolling YouTube to feed their musical curiosity, but I wouldn’t overestimate its importance.

  9. says

    Actually, according to a recent Nielsen 360 report taking in over 3,000 online consumer surveys, radio was still the preferred method of discovering new music online. Some 48% of adult users come across new music via radio stations.10% find new material through friends and relatives, and a minority (7%) pick up tracks via YouTube.

    However, when the report focused on how teenagers listen to music, radio took a back seat. Over half of the teenagers surveyed listened to music mainly through YouTube, with 64% of users listening to music through the site.

    The report continued, saying that 54% of users are more likely to buy music if a friend recommends it, set against 25% who preferred to take the advice of music blogs, or a brand (12%). Speaking to Music Week, Nielsen’s David Bakul explained:

    “The accessibility of music has seen tremendous expansion and diversification. While younger listeners opt for technologically advanced methods, traditional methods of discovery like radio and word-of-mouth continue to be strong drivers.”

    I think we can safely assume from this study Greg, that outside of live performances, good old radio is still the way mature audiences prefer to try out new music. As far as the teenagers go – for better or worse, it looks like video is here to stay.

    • says

      Paula, it’s wise to be wary of very general surveys, especially when the subject being surveyed isn’t your home turf. Because you don’t know the territory, you might not be in the best place to think critically about what the survey says. Or to ask whether — from the available evidence — the people doing the survey knew the territory themselves.

      One question I’d ask right away: What does it mean that younger people go to YouTube to find new music? It’s easy to make some mental leaps here. YouTube is a video site, so younger people who go there are looking for videos. Which means that younger people who go there looking for new music are looking for new music videos. So it must be the videos that introduce them to new songs and artists.

      What this ignores is that YouTube is one of the best audio sites around. People upload audio there with only nominal video content — often just a single fixed image. That’s why YouTube has become the best place to go if you want recordings by opera singers of the past. Which in turn — or so I’m told by an authority in this area — has revolutionized the knowledge younger opera singers have of singers of the past. They used to know very little about past generations, but now, with the recordings (mostly without video) so easily available, they’re starting to know a lot.

      Of course I haven’t seen the survey you mention, but I might wonder if they formulated their questions properly. If they’d known more about YouTube, maybe they wouldn’t simply have listed YouTube as a choice when people responded to the question about how they found new music. Or simply accepted YouTube as an answer. They would have asked a followup question: How do you use YouTube? How do you find new music there? As I’ve said, what the pop world finds notable is the number of people who make videos of music they like, and then post the videos on YouTube, thus reversing your idea of how the process works. A few summers ago, the NY Times Magazine ran a piece about a singer-songwriter who, after quitting his day job, ,created his career by posting a new song each week to his blog. After a while, he had enough fans to support himself financially, and to know exactly where to tour. How did YouTube figure in this? He never made videos of his songs, but his fans did. Then YouTube became a place where people could find his music, but they were finding it anyway.

      That leads to the second point about the survey. it doesn’t distinguish between active new music seekers and passive ones. The many people the survey seems fascinated who (still) find out about new music on the radio, are passive seekers. They listen to the radio, and if new songs come on, then they know about them. But if they were actively seeking new music, they wouldn’t rely on radio, because most pop radio stations don’t play many new songs.

      The survey does seem to note — or the person quoted in your comment does — that the Internet has created a new breed of active music seekers (or more precisely given the people who always were actively seeking new music an even more active way to do it). When then makes it sad that they mention word of mouth as one of the old ways in which people find new stuff. Because actually the word of mouth category has a division running through it. On one side are the passive music seekers, who might hear about some breakout hit from friends before they hear it on the radio. An example, some years ago, was an Andrea Bocelli song (forgot which one) that was featured in a Sopranos episode. In the episode, you saw Carmela and her friends learning about the song, partly by word of mouth. But then after the episode aired, I saw people in a record store asking sales people about the song, which they’d either heard on the show, or heard about from friends who’d seen the show. (“Such a romantic song! You HAVE to hear it.”)

      Active music seekers exchange information by word of mouth, but much more often, maybe several times a day, thanks to the Internet. So someone who listens to Pandora, reads Pitchfork online, etc, etc, etc, is also actively exchanging songs and artists with others. This is how things go viral. Word of mouth in this case is a very different thing from what the Sopranos showed. If Carmela and her friends had been in this category, they would have talked about half a dozen songs, or more. And argued about them.

      Both these points have a lot to do with your video effort, Paula. First because when you put videos on YouTube, you have to understand that YouTube isn’t only a video site, and figure out if that means you could do things differently, or add some purely audio appeal to the things you post. Or post some purely audio tracks, related to your videos.

      And, second, it means that you might not want to take the survey literally when it lumps word of mouth in with radio listening as an older way of finding new music. (With the possible implication that the younger people you want to reach might not use it so much.) If you wanted to mount some kind of viral campaign — which would be a good idea, if you ask me — then word of mouth would be crucial. You might, for instance, want to recruit some younger people who’d spread the word about your video to their friends, families, and online networks. Not simply falling back on the idae that younger people go to YouTube for music, and thus trusting that a Youtube presence will get you attention, but figuring that (like anybody out in the market) you need all the help you can get, and that recruiting what’s often called a “street gang” would give your efforts a healthy kick start.

      Of course, you may be doing that, and a dozen other things I don’t know about, in which case forgive my presumption in suggesting all this to you. But I find surveys like the one you’ve cited somewhat complacent, out of touch with what they’re surveying, and therefore too sure that what they report can be taken at face value. Which then can mean that plans of action based on the surveys won’t be as effective as they should be.

  10. says

    Love your blog topic, Greg. I find encouragement knowing that what we are doing is in fact what you recommend. Living where I live, we’ve had to be innovative in attracting a following to our offerings which include our Hauskonzert & Community Concert series and BachReach education. You are a wealth of ideas, and I’m so glad I ran across this post.
    Please look at our website to see what we’re doing this season, we’ve conversed before after I commented on one of your excellent topics, http://bachariasoloists.com

    I will reread your post about the class you want to present online, when I have more time. If I could manage to find time in my schedule, I would be interested.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Elizabeth. I know that I’m part of a wave of change in classical music, just as you are. And so many people are! So encouraging to hear from you and others, and find out what you’re doing. I’m glad my post was helpful, and hope we keep in touch. I’ll email you about my writing course. Thanks for your interest!