Can a web portal develop jazz audiences?
Jazz audiences are small, fragmented and static, but with enormous potential to attract new audiences. The failure to do so is mainly due to poor sector marketing and audience development infrastructure. Research suggested that would-be attenders needed an accessible, authoritative source of information about jazz that minimised risks with cost, time or self-image. The getintojazz.com website is designed to fulfill this recommendation, and this study maps the development of the site and tests its efficacy in developing new audiences for jazz.
That even with this effective website infrastructure, the sector is characterised by lack of marketing and copywriting skills and poor presentation and stagecraft. If the sector is to develop (and develop audiences) investment is needed in training and mentoring to bring the sector up to audience expectations. Whilst this may not be universally welcomed, bands, venues and promoters need to respond to the real and legitimate responses of new audiences. This will test the extent of their true commitment to widen the audience beyond jazz aficionados and connoisseurs. This commitment should form the basis of any funding they might receive.