Alaskan Musicians and Their Use of Online Tools for Music Sharing
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The survey was distributed via Facebook posts, email requests and printed QR code advertisements to musicians across Alaska. A total of 119 musicians participated. Respondents were asked to participate and volunteered to complete the survey on a matter of convenience for both parties. All participants (n=119) qualified themselves as musicians claiming residence in Alaska. These musicians ranged from armature to professional.
Of these, 92% claimed to use online media. Five percent claimed to not use online media, and three respondents did not answer this question. Roughly one-third of the respondents self-classified as classical musicians. About 13% self-classified as folk musicians, 11% as praise-and-worship musicians. The remaining musicians self-classified in genres from jazz to a variety of rock, all in groups under 9%. Interestingly, three musicians self-identified with either traditional ethnic music or pop ethnic music. The majority (59%) of the musicians claimed a fan base within Alaska, while 24% claimed to not have a fan base. An additional 23 respondents did not answer this question.
Online media for fans
Research question one asked which digital and social media avenues Alaska musicians use to share their music with their audiences, that is their established and potential fan base, plus other musicians. Of the 100 respondents who answered the question which online media did he or she most use to share music, Facebook was the top choice at 31%, with YouTube taking second place at 21%. Fourteen respondents used a website and 11 used CDs and/or DVDs as their primary sharing tool. Six percent or fewer used iTunes, email, a smart phone app or a music-sharing database. No one chose Twitter or MySpac...
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...ential lies in studies more specifically aimed exact categories of online media. There is room to study how extensively different online media tools are used and why.
This study has brought a better understanding of how some Alaska musicians are not only using online media tools, but how they feel it affects their music and the future of Alaska-produced music. By understanding this, the music market in Alaska can be better analyzed. Could Alaska-produced music be made stronger by taking better advantage of online media? Are there better solutions for Alaska musicians than the tools currently available? Studies like these are valuable not just to the businessmen, but to especially to musicians themselves. This information uncovers what their peers are doing, how they can take advantage of the situation and perhaps even better understand why they make similar choices.