I thought this was a very good point made in the comments of my previous post:
- It strikes me that one issue that may skew these numbers is the relative breadth of categories. "Classical" is a very big tent, to the point that someone looking for Gregorian Chant and someone looking for post-Romantic French music will be looking in the same place. There is a much greater chronological and stylistic range in what you call classical music and what you call "hard rock," "electro rock," "electronica," etc.
His point is that the "bucketing" in the chart is really skewing the results. So I redid the charts by combining sub-genres in a way that seemed appropriate.
Here's what I did:
- I combined "ambient" and "new age"
- I combined "Alt Rock" "Hard Rock", "Electro Rock" and "Hip Hop"
- I combined "World" with "Jazz" (I know, that's debatable).
- I left Electronica as its own genre
The chart does come out differently after doing this.
here are some things I note from this new chart:
- each genre (except new age/ambient) has a similar number of albums at Magnatune
- demand for classical is greater than the catalog size, and he opposite is true for new age. However new age/ambient is still the #2 more popular genre.
- jazz/world and electronica have appropriately sized catalogs for their demand, though we have more rock than demand.
VISITORS vs MEMBERS
DEMAND in the chart above is based on what visitors to the Magnatune home page click on.
But, I wondered, what do paying members actually download?
Here is the chart:
Here is what I take away from this:
- New Age is very popular with people who choose to become members, followed by Classical.
- the catalog size fairly closely matches up what is desired by members.
- there is more demand for new age and classical than there is catalog
- and there are more rock albums than there is demand for them.
Conclusion: both charts are important. The first chart shows how our catalog size matches up with what new visitors to magnatune are looking for. Those are potential members. The second chart shows what paying members actually download, and keeping them happy keeps them as members.
Will this knowledge change what kind of music musicians I sign up for Magnatune?
No, not really: I get about 100 artists submitting every week, and I simply sign anything that comes to me that I think is fantastic.
However, it's possible that these sorts of numbers will motivate more musicians in certain genres to submit more music, which would then cause me to sign more of that genre.