This Side of Japan Feedback Survey: The Results
Some takeaways from the survey results
Hello, dear readers of This Side of Japan!
First of all, thank you to those who filled out the feedback survey this past month. I had 62 respondents, which is about 15% or 1/6 of my readership, give or take, so it turned out to be a pretty decent sample size—more than I expected anyway! Here are some general takeaways and how the information will help me.
The main way you all discovered the newsletter is through Twitter, with 68% saying they found out about This Side of Japan through the little bird site. Second highest was through someone else’s newsletter at 13% with a few noting specifically Tone Glow (where I contribute time to time). A few of you mentioned that you heard from it someone else other than me. Thanks to those who share the word about the newsletter!
A majority of respondents read the issues via e-mail with 78%. It’s good to know the newsletter’s reach seems to not be entirely dependent on me tweeting about it: 20% of you primarily read the issues via Twitter, from me or someone else retweeting. And it’s actually nice to know at least 40 of you actually open the email blasts. My inbox is full of spams and other junk that makes me not want to ever open Gmail, so thank you, really.
The breakdown of readership by favorite genres was actually pretty balanced at least from what was given. Most of you (80%) listen to pop/R&B—basically what I tried to pin down as the categorically mainstream J-pop—but the other ones like rap, electronic, rock and even experimental were not far off, so you all seem to have a balanced diet. This, along with how much Japanese music in general takes up your listening (more on that below), assures me that maybe I don’t have to sweat about missing the big pop stuff. I also feel more comfortable recommending really anything especially in the Singles Club section.
When it came to what you all wanted more of, the requests weren’t too surprising since electronic and experimental music are what I consider my blind spots for this newsletter. Some of you also read Tone Glow so I understand the request for more experimental music. The votes help me try to strengthen my focus during music digging, like maybe I should be more diligent in scouring Soundcloud and Bandcamp—where a bulk of my electronic and experimental music finds are. I’m still trying to find better outlets and strategies to introduce more genres outside of my immediate purview, so please be patient.
I didn’t include idol groups in the “what do you want more of?” section because I feel like I talk enough about them either on Twitter or my Idol Watch columns. Those actually get lower viewer counts than the main issues, which is understandable given how it’s a sub-column focused more on a niche corner among the general topic. But I have also got some positive responses on my idol coverage, and a few of you actually wrote in “more idols” as well. It’s good to know some of you actually want more from me when it comes to idols and that I don’t have to restrain myself when it comes to idol stuff I like.
For responses on the newsletter’s sections—Album of the Week, Singles Club, This Week In…—I wanted to feel out what you primarily get out of the newsletter. Like, do you want to know about an album? New songs? Maybe you’re more interested in the old stuff? A good half of you (55%) said you look forward to all of it—thank you! Album of the Week got a bit more than the other two, so it seems if you had to pick one, you like keeping up with the albums from Japan.
Half of you (55%) keep up with music from multiple countries—that’s awesome to hear! I don’t know if that means J-pop and K-pop, or Japanese pop and American pop, or any other specific combinations, but it’s good to know you have a strong interest in more than one area of music. This makes me more comfortable in talking about Japanese music in relation to other scenes of music too. 16% said they don’t listen to Japanese music as much as the rest. I really hope you find this newsletter as a good source for that.
The write-ins were full of wonderful feedback, so thank you so much for the positive words. There are a few questions that I would like to explore in future columns, but one that stuck out to me was whether or not I am accepting submissions from subscribers. If you have music submissions or recommendations, feel free to shoot me in my newsletter email. If you want to write a review or something, maybe I can think of a way to incorporate some sort of way to collaborate with my readers who also write about Japanese music. As of this point, I guess the answer is no, but only because I haven’t figured out a way how that would work.
Thank you so much again for responding! It was nice to hear from you. If you have questions, feedback or just want to ask me something, I did open a CuriousCat form, so you can send it there. You can find me on Twitter or reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The next of issue of This Side of Japan is out Feb. 10.