The stalled search engine

Ravi Shankar's first symphony was given its first performance on July 1 at the Royal Festival Hall by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Back in April last year I wrote about this forthcoming premiere. Over the last few days On An Overgrown Path has been receiving a lot of traffic to my preview from people searching for reviews of Thursday's concert, far more than I would expect from a post more than a year old. A quick Google search for 'Shankar symphony premiere review' and similar terms reveals two things. First, my 2009 article appears surprisingly high on the search results. Secondly, very few reviews (in fact one - seen above) for the concert can be found by a Google search.

My point is not to talk up the importance of this blog. It is to highlight the diminishing exposure that classical music is receiving in the media, other than the ubiquitous and transparent advertorials. With Rupert Murdoch's News Corp charging for access to online content from July 1 the situation can only get worse, with the views of independent thinkers such as Richard Morrison no longer available to the casual search engine user.

Orchestras and record companies complain repeatedly that their market is shrinking. Is this surprising when it is almost impossible to find out about a concert unless you were actually there? Advertorials and offering freebies to malleable bloggers and journalists may give music PR agencies the fee income they need to maintain their lavish lifestyles. But they are not solving the problem of reaching old, yet alone new, audiences.

My traffic logs show that there are an awful lot of people round the world searching for news about classical music. Don't blame the fast disappearing mainstream media for not covering classical music. Instead blame music executives for thinking that all the new media is as gullible as the old.

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John said…
If only it were Richard Murdoch running News Corp. I think you mean Rupert:
Pliable said…
John, thanks for pointing out my Freudian slip which is now corrected.

Either the sun here in the UK is getting to me or I have been listening to too many Planets.
Unknown said…
It can hardly be said louder and more convincingly.
In Spain press pay few attention to classical music and reviews sections are diminishing. Babelia and El Cultural (two of the most important cultural magazines weekly published here) show little respect for the classical music aficionado. As for new audiences... they do not care.
We have to rely on bloggers.
Shame on us!

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