Where’s the strategy for making classical music content findable?

Stumbled on something of a surprise late on Friday night: the Royal College of Music’s Symphony Orchestra performing Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra and Dvorak’s Cello Concerto live.

That’s a live concert, streamed on YouTube, free to access, and free of commentary. Perfect. My kind of thing.

Watched a little bit of it on catch-up via my connected TV late on Friday night. Watched the entire concert on Saturday morning.

A few thoughts arise (the first two specific to otherwise RCM’s marvellous YouTube channel) as I sit and write this blog post:

1. In a busy social media world, I’d really like free (live) stuff like this advertised more. That’s more than just telling me minutes before its going to start. That’s letting me know earlier in the week. Digital is in itself fuelled by distractions and displacement activities. Knowing that there’s an event I can enjoy free of charge on my TV would be a real boon.

2. Why when I return to the RCM’s YouTube channel isn’t the video easily accessible? I can’t search for it. I don’t see it listed anywhere. I want to embed it in this blog post for example, but I can’t do that if I can’t find it. My assumption is that the YouTube video is marked as ‘Unlisted’. But, if you’re looking for the biggest number of eyeballs, wouldn’t you mark it ‘public’? Grrr.

3. I come from a working environment where a consistent user experience (whether that be links, social, or the reliability and consistency of search results) are paramount to keeping the user happy (on some level). With more time on my hands I notice that the classical music world isn’t applying the same standards to their most potent of marketing assets: their core content. Grrr.

4. Therefore if reach is as important as impact – perhaps even more so, why aren’t classical music organisations (venues and ensembles) committing to a simplified strategy around findability of their content? This goes beyond just running a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account. This is about making sure that your core audience – the ones who will advocate on your behalf – can find your stuff easily and quickly. It’s about returning to the standards that fuelled the world wide web in the first place: making sure the user journey yields something of value.

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