On May 10th, my little company (Proper Discord Ltd) celebrated its first anniversary. Since then, I’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing clients, we’ve made some lovely records, built some interesting companies and welcomed a new baby into the family.

I relaunched this blog a year ago with a video offering unhelpful advice on pronouncing composers’ names.

I stole the idea, quite shamelessly, from this.

My video clocked up more than 26,000 views* on YouTube, of which more than 3,000 happened last week, after (though not necessarily because) the New York Phil shared it on Twitter (which was nice of them).

I really like playing around with all the statistics you can get from YouTube. It tells me, among other things, that the average viewer in the US and UK watched 50 seconds of that video: long enough to enjoy the funny bits, but not long enough to catch the message I wanted to get across. I’ll bear this in mind for other projects, where it might make more sense to put the commercial call to action nearer the start.

You know what’s weird, though? While the average English-speaking user watches 85% of the video, the average Bolivian viewer watches 142% of it. Jordan, Estonia, Indonesia, Armenia and handful of other places also enjoy >100% “engagement”.

To begin with, I thought this must be some sort of mathematical error, but then I realised these viewers weren’t watching it for fun.

They were studying it.

So next time you meet somebody from Estonia, write “Thomas Tallis” on a piece of paper, and ask them to read it out loud. Just in case.

* Divide 26,000 views by Boyle’s Constant, and I should be able to sell almost two albums. Seriously. This stuff is commercial gold. I’ve never really made a coherent effort to turn YouTube views into blog traffic – this isn’t what the videos are for – but it’s interesting to see how little traffic it does generate. In the last year, a total of 13 days worth of video has been streamed from my channel. It probably wasn’t all watched at work, but any time you spent watching my videos could have been spent working, and at the US minimum wage, that’s $2,385 worth of time spent bringing 244 people to my blog. That’s right. Each visitor I get from YouTube costs the music industry $9.77.

To give you an idea of just how bad this is, I got more incoming traffic (284 visits) from Google+. I didn’t know there were 284 people on Google+.

Almost all the incoming traffic comes from Facebook, search engines and Twitter. Some posts go crazy on Twitter, others on Facebook, I can’t figure out any logic to what is popular where, so I put it down to luck: it’s unlikely enough that a post about statistics related to marketing classical music would go viral anywhere.

$9.77 is about £6.23. My work website ( doesn’t get a lot of traffic, but that’s ok, because it’s well targeted: I make £16 for every visitor I get. Since gets 60 visitors for each one that it refers to the blog, an entirely YouTube-based marketing campaign for my business (via this blog) would cost the music industry £23.50 in lost productivity for every £1 I made in increased revenue, assuming, well, a whole lot of “it would carry on just like this” stuff we should really have learned our lesson about by now. Anyhow. This footnote is now longer than the post to which it is appended, and we should probably both be getting back to work.

But, like a Beethoven coda, this footnote keeps coming. I could have stopped there. Or the paragraph before. Really, it would have been perfectly adequate with just the first  paragraph. Or even just the first line. That had all the good bits in it. The rest was just excessive development. But I can’t seem to find a way. I should just stop typing. Like Miles Davis said, or is supposed to have said, just “take the horn out of your mouth”. But somehow it’s not that easy.What would Beethoven do? V-I-V-I-V-I. I. I. I.








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