An article in the 2/13/2008 edition of The Hollywood Reporter examines a NYU study that determined blog posts can triple album sales. This is an early step toward quantifying the impact new media has on the cultural consciousness…
In particular, the Hollywood Reporter article
reported that NYU Stern professor Vasant Dhar and a former student
Elaine Chang concluded that "when an album got mention in more than 40
legitimate blog posts, sales were three times the average." The key
word in that sentence is "legitimate" and I contacted Professor Dhar to
find out more behind the parameters his research project used to
qualify a blog post as being legitimate.
Unfortunately, I haven’t heard back from him yet but his research project helps confirm some of the overriding points from the How To Connect With New Media
from earlier this month. Although Professor Dhar’s research project
examined the impact of new media outlets on a nationwide sales market
it would be interesting to see if some of the same principles would
apply to the impact of new media exposure on performing arts
organization’s ticket sales and fundraising. At the same time, it would
be even easier to adopt the research project to study the impact of new
media exposure on classical music album sales.
Regardless if anyone begins studying the impact of new media on
performing arts organizations anytime soon or not, media attention has
long been a benchmark of success for orchestras. Back in February, 2006
I published a series of articles which examined the Dallas Symphony
Orchestra’s strategic plan,
titled "A Bold Plan For Greatness." Although the plan contained some
vague references to the "number/quality of press mentions & reviews
equal to top-tier orchestras" as one of the benchmarks they plan to use
for measuring success, there is no mention of whatsoever of new media
outlets in that component.
Granted, the world of cultural blogging (and other related new
media activity) has grown exponentially since the time the plan was
written in 2004, Professor Dhar’s research project just might be what
this business needs to begin understanding new media’s growing impact.
The more quantifiable data available, the sooner the business can begin
to shift gears toward developing legitimate, sincere relationships with
new media outlets.
It is interesting to note that an organization as accomplished
and respected as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra completely missed new
media’s impact on the business. Officially, the DSO’s strategic plan
will run through 2015 and has been in motion for nearly four years. In
that short period the influence of new media has exploded, imagine the
sort of impact it will cultivate by 2015. Consequently, what sort of
substantive value do new media outlets have on your organization?