We recently asked 50 prominent writers and editors working in the jazz arena to complete a survey, with a special effort made to reach out to as diverse a sample as possible.
We asked them about their preferences for receiving information, how and where they listen to music and their interaction with publicists among many other things.
Not everyone had the time or inclination to respond, and not everyone who did chose to answer every question put to them, but the results were quite enlightening.
The questions were distributed into five categories and we’re going to examine and share the results one category at a time on the blog this week.
The first section deals with general demographic information, including age, location, job description, income and blogging habits (i.e. where their work is published).
As you can see from the graphic above, the respondents represented a well-balanced cross section of ages from 26-65. Only one person who answered this question fell into the 18-25 group and no one was older than 65. The 26-35 and 46-55 groups each generated the highest number of respondents with 26.5%.
Then we asked people to choose the term that best describes their work in the world of jazz/improvised music from a list of five (blogger, editor, freelance CD reviewer/feature writer, publisher/Web site owner and other).
In keeping with expectations, the most popular answer was CD reviewer/feature writer, which was chosen by 47.1% of respondents, more than doubling the next most popular answer, which was editor. Only 3% referred to themselves as primarily bloggers.
Over 17% chose Other, but basically used that write-in space to pick more than one job or use a term synonymous with one already offered.
In a somewhat surprising turn, 79.4% of those surveyed said they were paid to do the job they specified and only 35.3% have a full or part-time job in another industry that accounts for their primary income.
Finally, we asked about blogging habits.
35.3% said they have a personal blog, and 38.2% of those people reported publishing their articles and reviews on those blogs.
Also, only 26.5% of those surveyed contribute to blogs hosted by the jazz publications/organizations they work for.
The data gets a little more interesting as we move forward. It paints a clearer picture about what an artist, label or publicist is up against when trying to get the limited attention of today’s music journalist, especially when it comes to how much music these individuals see and hear in a given month and how it is presented to them.
Tomorrow’s post will cover the second category: Web and print habits. It focuses on what writers and editors are reading, how they access that information and how it influences their own work.