Adaptistration Turns 14

Today marks Adaptistration’s 14th anniversary and to help mark the occasion, let’s look at the year’s highlights.


Adaptistration People 063

  1. New readers increased by 1.8 percent.
  2. Overall traffic was down, but that’s not a surprise given the previous year’s record setting traffic from the 2016 Orchestra Compensation Reports: Music Directors After filtering out that article’s traffic, the overall difference was a fraction of a percent.
  3. Readers by age groups:
    1. 25-34: 22.50 percent of readers
    2. 35-44: 20.17 percent of readers
    3. 45-54: 16.7 percent of readers
    4. 55-64: 15.88 percent of readers
    5. 65+: 10.80 percent of readers
    6. 18-24: 13.96 percent of readers
  4. Female readers continued to increase their ratio of overall readers; the 2.02 percent increase was the single largest increase in the blog’s history. Overall, mean comprised 61.76 percent of readers while women comprised 38.24 percent.
  5. The largest age group of female readers is the 25.34 demographic.
  6. Readers by state:
    1. California: 10.11 percent of readers (a 1.47 percent increase over the previous year)
    2. New York: 9.04 percent of readers
    3. Texas: 8.80 percent of readers
    4. Illinois: 6.30 percent of readers
    5. Pennsylvania: 5.03 percent of readers
  7. Chrome continues to crush it as reader’s browser of choice. 40.84 percent of visitors used Chrome (all versions, desktop and mobile) while Safari continues to trail in the #2 slot with 31.8 percent. Firefox continues to lose ground steadily with only three percent more usage than Internet Explorer (#wow). And take a look at this, Microsoft Edge is on the board with 1.81 percent.
  8. Readers continue to prefer connecting via mobile devices:
    1. Desktop users: 50.05 percent; down from 51.3 percent the previous year, which was down from 62.75 percent the year before that. That’s a cumulative drop of 12.7 percent over the period of two years!
    2. Smartphone: 42.76 percent, up from 40.2 percent the previous year.
    3. Tablet: 7.19 percent, down from 8.5 percent the previous year.


Adaptistration People 055

  1. Visitors finding their way to content by way of social mediaactually decreased from 31.1 to 23.7 percent. Although this was somewhat surprising at first, the drop ended up being the result of the large spike from last year to the bombshell 2016 Orchestra Compensation Reports: Music Directors. With the incoming social media traffic to that article filtered out of the total, the drop in social media acquisition was only 2.4 percent.
  2. Organic search traffic jumped up from 28.3 to 39.9 percent of visitor acquisition.
  3. Acquisition via emails almost doubled over last year.
  4. Referral based traffic, links from other sites, was nearly the same as the previous year.
  5. Social breakdown:
    1. Facebook continues to be the social media platform of choice among users who share Adaptistration’s content. 85.36 percent of all social media sourced traffic came from Facebook, although that is down from 90.64 percent the previous year.
    2. Twitter’s ratio increased from 7.8 to 12.1 percent.
    3. LinkedIn moved from 0.97 to 1.9 percent while the others (Google+, Blogger, etc.) accounted for the less than a single percent of visitors.
  6. Not counting social media platforms, the most popular referral sites included comThe New York Times, Musical America, and
  7. The weekly email summaries continue to be the most popular form of email campaign
  8. The most common search terms via third party search engines included “adaptistration,” “difference between strike and lockout,” “distinguish between strike and lockout,” “conductor salary,” and “drew mcmanus.”
  9. The most popular days and times to access the site include:
    1. Mondays from 8am – 10am ET.
    2. Tuesdays from 8am – 11am ET.
    3. Fridays from 8am – 12noon ET.


Adaptistration People 151Here is a list of the Top 25 articles from the past year:

  1. 2016 Orchestra Compensation Reports: Music Directors. Yes, even though this article was from the previous year, it still managed to be the most popular article and the only one over the blog’s 14-year history to claim the #1 spot for two consecutive years.
  2. Understanding The Difference Between A Strike And A Lockout
  3. 2017 Orchestra Compensation Reports: Music Directors
  4. How Many Dead White Guys Does It Take To Program A Season?
  5. Counting The Costs. Career cost of ownership for orchestra string musicians.
  6. Are Things About To Go Sideways For The Oregon Bach Festival?
  7. The Orchestra Compensation Reports. The index page for all the compensation reports since 2005. For articles beyond this point, I’ve filtered out some of the individual compensation report articles from previous years as they are ultimately included in this index page.
  8. Orchestra Financial Reports. An index of direct links to professional orchestra IRS filings.
  9. Symphony Society of San Antonio Is Shutting Down In Six Weeks
  10. 2017 Orchestra Compensation Reports: Executives
  11. 2017 Orchestra Compensation Reports: The Big Picture
  12. Are You Aware Of The Women Composer Database Project?
  13. 2017 Orchestra Compensation Reports: Concertmasters
  14. 16px Font Size and 48px Wide Buttons Are The New Black
  15. Classical Music Isn’t Dying, But The Principal Trumpet Is On Thin Ice
  16. Understanding The Difference Between A Strike And A Lockout. Given the popularity of this article over the years, it was updated on Sept 10, 2017 with refreshed content and images.
  17. The Recent Round Of AFM-EPF Pension Headaches
  18. Building Concert Halls, Part 1: What makes a great concert hall?
  19. How Many Words Is This Picture Worth?
  20. What Is San Antonio Symphony’s “Fair And Reasonable” Future?
  21. Orchestral Acoustics 101: Avery Fisher Hall
  22. Artists As Representatives
  23. Hey Get That Violin Case Out Of This Concert Hall! What Do You Think This Is, A Concer…oh wait
  24. Trump On The Arts & Humanities: You’re Nothing But Waste
  25. Orchestras Don’t Survive On Earned Income. In Other News, The Sky Is Blue
Were some of your favorites not in the Top 25? If so, take a moment to leave a comment below to point it out.

As always, the blog is only worth the value you assign and these efforts are for naught without engaged and passionate readers so THANK YOU for not only visiting, but finding the content and ideas valuable enough to share with colleagues and friends.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

Related Posts