Quick anecdote that got me thinking about arts coverage in major newspapers – and what the point of it is…
I was chatting with a manager of a popular venue that presents a wide range of musical acts. Recently, he said, a hip hop star was scheduled to perform at the venue. The New York Times wrote a preview or had a listing. The manager didn’t see a bump in ticket sales. The event was featured on a blog devoted to hip hop, and tickets sold like hot cakes.
Just made me wonder, who is reading about hip hop in the New York Times? (And why should the newspaper cover popular styles if they receive coverage elsewhere with a readership more engaged in the form?)
My guess: hip hop is a ubiquitous, energetic brand that even the Grey Lady feels will expand readership. On the flipside, New York Times readers (who also want to be hip, because really, who doesn’t?) can find out about an artist and feel like they’ve increased their cool factor.
It’s a win all around, right? Except for those performances that may be great but lack a certain market cachet….