Classical music's unquestioning love affair with social media
I chose two years ago to close my social media accounts. But this recent tweet caught my eye and set me thinking again about classical music's unquestioning love affair with social media.Yesterday Norman Lebrecht reported that Slipped Disc had 24 million readers in 2020. Now, as pointed out here before, and as a Slipped Disc reader points out in a comment, 24 million page visits on Google Analytics is a very different metric to 24 million readers. Page visits includes repeated return visits - which accounts for a high proportion of Slipped Disc traffic - and, as previously explained, more than half of website page visits are not from humans at all, but from automated programs — many of them malicious.
Now Norman, like all of us, has faults. But he is not stupid. So why does he insist on repeatedly bandying around these misleading statistics? 4 million readers in 2020, which is probably a more accurate estimate, is still an impressive metric that confirms Slipped Disc as the market leader by some considerable margin. So why the unnecessarily exaggerated claim? Universal Music, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and virtually every other classical institution enthusiastically supports Slipped Disc. All these institutions see leveraging social media as being key to engaging classical audiences. Which leads to the disturbing conclusion that although Universal Music, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, et al can spin a good tweet, they don't actually understand social media audience statistics.
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