The NARC. Survey – A Riposte
By Claire Dupree on October 24, 2012 in NARC.
We conducted a survey to find out more about NARC.’s audience and how we can serve you better. We heard from 100 people (mainly due to Survey Monkey’s restrictions – ie. we’re too cheap to pay for an upgrade to hear from more than 100 people) about their general habits and the things they like and dislike about the magazine, most of which was extremely useful.
We also, inevitably, had our share of useless information too (for example, when asked what leisure activities our readers enjoy, only 2% of our readers suggested ‘wanking’ – we know there are more of you out there). Anyway, we’re going to analyse all this data when we get a spare few hours, but for the time being, we wanted to answer some of your queries and show you our findings. I hope you find it as useful as we did.
What are your favourite leisure activities?
Unsurprisingly a whopping 92% of our readers like watching live music, good stuff. Cinema and ‘eating’ get the next biggest chunk of their attention, with 79% and 75% respectively. They’re a broad bunch though – 66% like drinking with their meal. They’re cultured too, with 63% enjoying a good book, 50% visiting art galleries regularly and 35% visiting the theatre. They’re into sport, but enjoy watching (38%) more than playing (27%) and shopping rates highly (32%) so they must have more money than me. 22% of readers surveyed enjoy both dance and playing video games, but presumably not at the same time.
In the ‘other’ section, making music was a predictable answer. Our readers also enjoy comedy, fashion, cooking, writing and, happily, knitting.
What music do you like?
This is an eclectic one, and something that we hope to reflect in our content. We’re working hard on that.
“Everything” and “good stuff” make a few appearances, as does “lots”. There’s a few funny ‘uns in here too – thanks to the SUPER useful feedback from one reader whose taste is above us apparently: “really really good shit that none of you TYKES have even heard of” and then there’s the just-plain-rude…
What sections of the magazine do you read most?
This is the bit I was most interested in, and I’m really glad we seem to be on the right track with most of our coverage.
I’m especially heartened to note that 70% of our readers are interested in reading about local bands, as that’s what really drives us. 78% like a bit of news – as varied as possible – and 61% love the national/international band interviews. Features are well read, and as varied and interesting as we can make them, with 56% of readers enjoying them regularly. Our reviews section gets a good look over, with 67% enjoying albums, 54% singles, 49% demos and 69% live reviews. While 57% of the readers utilise our listings facility. Comedy, art and literature, film, stage and style get a healthy mixture of readers (34%, 41%, 44%, 25% and 25% respectively), and we’re working on making these sections as good as they can be. 49% of readers enjoy a neb at someone else’s record collection in the Mixtape section, and 42% enjoy an opinion or two.
Do you use KYEO.tv?
A resounding Yes! with 65% of NARC. readers regularly using our online sister site KYEO.tv. We’ll keep her then.
Aside from the odd sweary insult and a couple of people that ‘don’t read the magazine, just like filling in surveys’ I was heartened to see that a lot of our readers love what we do. As with all these things though, it’s the people we’re not pleasing that shout louder, and that’s just fine with me.
Here I’ve tried to address some of our readers’ concerns, and I promise we’ll work on our failings where we can.
“I really think that it needs to incorporate the ‘whole scene’ but the likes of Rock, Metal, Hardcore don’t get a look in. There’s full support for the perceived ‘indie’ group, but I think that you guys need to open up to the massive hardcore scene. You’d expand your reach and have a complete new audience.”
I couldn’t agree more Mr/Ms Hardcore. We tried a very long time ago trying not to be ‘all things to all people’, but you’re right that there are genres in our musically talented region that haven’t been fully exploited. One of those reasons can be attributed to lack of knowledge (i.e. ours) but it’s also got to rest with the bands and people who are part of other scenes. We WANT to write about as much of the local music scene as we possibly can, but we don’t always have the knowledge or resources – if you’re interested in representing something you don’t feel is dealt with enough in NARC. then we’d love to hear from you. We need spies everywhere – and people happy to write about other scenes. Get in touch, we don’t bite!
This isn’t the only criticism we’ve had along these lines, and I’m heartened to see that most people really love the magazine but want it to be broader. We’ll try, I promise.
“It’s extremely stuck up and cliquey…”
Ah, the good old ‘NARC. band’ comment. Yes well, I think my comment above begins to address that. Sometimes it’s a sad fact that the bands that are actually promoting themselves to us, are the ones that are successful and therefore the ones we want to write about. Funny huh? Seriously though, a lot of bands are shockingly bad at getting in touch with us, and assume we don’t like them or think their music’s not worthy of talking about, when the truth of the matter is, we’ve probably just not come across them before. Don’t ask, don’t get. That’s what my mother taught me…
“It would be nice to see a wider distribution, if possible”
Duly noted. December is DISTRIBUTION MONTH for me. Expect to see more mags in more places. And we have grand plans to increase the amount we print early next year too.
“Should have long form articles on things other than music”
Couldn’t agree more, and that’s something I’ve been looking to introduce over the last few months. Our partnership with KYEO has opened our minds a little bit, and our writers are getting used to covering ‘non-musical’ elements. We’ve got a way to go, but it’s definitely a priority.
“I feel bad saying it, but I much preferred NARC when it was in bigger format…”
I loved it like that too, and it was a hard decision to make it smaller. However, you can fit it in your pocket or handbag, and that means we’re finding more magazines are making it home with our readers rather than being left on the end of a soggy bar. I’ll stop trying to get so many words on the page and leave a little room for imagination, promise…
“It’s a tad bit opinionated, uncompromising, unconstructive and snobbish at times. Doesn’t portray an unbiased opinion of all styles of music and many of the journalists will unfairly review music from bands that they clearly are not familiar or empathetic to”
OK… Opinionated? You’d rather we said everything was brilliant? Uncompromising? No we’re not! Unconstructive? We try not to be, and no one likes to hear that their band is shit, but again…you’d rather we said everything was brilliant? Snobbish? Well… I prefer pretentious.
As for unbiased opinion – it’s not unfair that our writers review music from bands they don’t like – a lot of the time they get what they’re given, and that sometimes inevitably means they’re not going to like it. If everyone liked the same thing, it’d be a dull dull world.
As for the lovers, here’s a few comments that particularly made me smile
You all have fantastic hair. Even Noble.
Great little rag
I love it. Needs more dragons.
It’s a difficult balance to strike, being helpfully critical while also supporting local music and arts and NARC. do it very well. Keep it up!
I don’t read it. The survey won’t let me off until I fill in section 3 which as I don’t read it I left blank. I’ll tick a box in 3 so the survey ends
As a final point, I’d like to thank you for bearing with us while we’re finding our feet a little. I really do live and breathe NARC. and I’m always striving to make it better. Your help goes a long way, so please keep continuing to give us feedback and, most importantly, get in touch.