iC Media Poll Results: Part 2

July 20, 2009

Print publications

Today we explore the results from the second of five sections of our recent survey of 50 prominent jazz writers and editors.

This section, called Web and print habits, asked about the jazz-related publications, blogs and Web sites these professionals are reading, how they access them, and if what they read there impacts their own work.

As shown in the chart above, we first asked respondents to indicate which of the eight major jazz magazines they read on a regular basis. The list, which featured English-language publications only, included AllAboutJazz-New York, Cadence, DownBeat, Jazz Improv, Jazziz, JazzTimes, Signal To Noise and The Wire. We also made it possible for people to write-in any other publications as well.

The clear winner was AllAboutJazz-New York with 54.5%. The runner-up was Signal to Noise with 51.5%, followed by DownBeat and JazzTimes, which each scored 48.5%. The Wire (39.4%) and Cadence (18.2%) were next, while Jazziz and Jazz Improv each scored less than 10%.

One write-in vote each was cast for Cuadernos de JazzCoda, Improjazz, Jazz Journal and Ritmos del Mundo.

Print influence

We then asked if the coverage in these publications influenced the respondent’s own work (i.e. discovering new releases, coloring their judgement of artists/releases, etc.).

The results (above) were clear as 85.3% answered in the affirmative.

Web sites

Next we asked which jazz-related Web sites respondents visit on a regular basis, again spotlighting eight popular choices and giving people the chance to write-in any others they prefer.

AllAboutJazz.com was the clear favorite with 77.4%, with AllMusic.com finishing a close second with 61.3%. Next came Bagatellen with 32.3%, followed by Jazz.com and NPR Music, which each earned 29%. Avant Music News (16.1%), Jazz Corner (12.9%) and PopMatters (6.5%) also got multiple votes.

A significant number of write-in votes were cast for blogs, which we tackle in the next question, but Point of Departure was a popular choice (an admitted oversight on our part), as were Pitchfork and Dusted.

Web influence

Again, the majority (82.4%) indicated that the content of these sites influence their own work.

When tackling the subject of blogs, we asked respondents to list five of their favorites. Oddly enough, more than half skipped this question completely, and only 37.5% filled in all five slots. Some even dedicated one or more of the slots to expressing their dislike for reading and/or discussing blogs at all.

The calculations don’t apply to write-ins, but the most popular choices were Destination: Out, Do The Math, Free Jazz, Jazz Beyond Jazz, Lerterland and Secret Society.

Blog influence

But this time, when we asked if what they read on these blogs influenced their own work, only 44.4% said yes.

Blog access

When it comes to accessing the blogs they read, the Web is by far the most popular way with 94.1% giving that answer. Using a built-in blog reader in one’s browser and using a stand-alone RSS feed reader represented the rest of the vote with 8.8% each.

Twitter account

Finally, we asked if any of the respondents have a Twitter account.

Unlike with the blogs, everyone who took the survey answered this question, but only 35.3% said yes.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the third section of our survey, Personal Listening Habits, which features questions about writers’ interaction with jazz radio, their preferences for format (CD, MP3 and vinyl) when purchasing music for personal use, and the amount of music they purchase in a given year.

Please stay tuned!

iC Media Poll Results: Part 1

July 20, 2009

Age group chart

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).

Job description

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.

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.

Work 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.