Rebirth of the cool – Streaming helps jazz reach new audiences – up to a point Lord Copper

There was an article by Sarah Marsh in the Guardian on Monday 29th July 2019 reporting that rising numbers of younger fans have sparked a UK jazz renaissance and streaming sites report growth in young listeners and festivals are signing up more jazz acts.

However there are two caveats. Streaming as a marketing tool allows jazz musicians to get their music heard by new audiences; the downside is that for the jazz musician to earn the National Average Wage of £27,600 in 2015 terms, they would have to have their music streamed 38 million times – if you are Ed Shearing, earning $6.6 million from “Shape of You”, this is not a problem as it took 1.318 billion streams to do it. But in a world where people are getting used to cheap or free music, streaming poses a problem of endemic proportions for jazz. There is also a major problem for the jazz musician with the “Value Gap”, which is the disparity between the value upload services such as YouTube takes out from music and the revenue that is returned to the music community.

The second caveat is the notion of the “Product Life Cycle”,that helps understand the patterns of reinvention and renewal in jazz; where this creativity will lead to in terms of the career path of the jazz musician and how they are supported and sustained. Renaissance, revival or reemergence the music will look after itself, it is the infrastructure that needs to be developed and kept in constant repair.