Popularity of jazz on World Wide Web

The 3/12/02 issue of the Seattle Times carried an interesting article by a local columnist about the popularity of jazz on the World Wide Web. Apparently there are two ratings services that provide reports about how many people listen to the various Internet radio/music programs that are streamed world-wide.

The station rated #1 or #2 on the Internet, depending on which rating service you refer to, is the London-based station, Jazz FM (www.jazzfm.com). This result surprised me, but it's fascinating that jazz is now being heard by so many people throughout the world, yet still struggles for a wider audience in the United States.

I was even more surprised that the #6-rated Web station in the world is KPLU-FM, the campus radio of Pacific Lutheran University located in Tacoma, WA (about 40 miles south of Seattle). KPLU-FM is the major NPR radio station in the Seattle area, and it broadcasts jazz and blues non-stop, except for the morning and evening hours when it carries NPR programs. The Web address for KPLU-FM is: www.kplu.org

If you want to read the full newspaper article, here is the link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/northwestlife/134418782_erik120.html
WCLK.com, a great college jazz station from Atlanta, Ga. If you love jazz check this one out. 24 hrs./day.
Great thread!

When I want to listen to jazz outside of my collection, the internet is the only thing available to me and most of my friends since radio stations are not playing it. Yes, jazz appears to be more popular in Canada, Europe and Asia. I hope this is just a cycle we are going through.

My concern is that web sources may dry up due to the pending royality issues posed by the Copyright Arbitration Royality Plan, discussed elsewhere. Thanks for the KPLU-FM lead too.
Great story Scott. There's hope. Certain things are universal.

I remain,
picking up on lngbruno's last comment: the bastards who control the RIAA are about to take this all away from you. moreover, if dubya's friends have their way, there will soon be no more than 3 companies that own all of the radio stations and concert promotions in the usa. i'm not kidding here, friends. and these folks couldn't give a rat's ass about our tiny community of audiophiles. wake up! read the news reports, especially on the web. and let your thoughts be known! -cfb
Thanks for the info, Muzikat, about WCLK. I checked out their Web site as you suggested, and was pleasantly surprised to see Diane Schuur's picture on their home page.

Diane, affectionately known to her friends and family as Deedles, is a hometown Seattle product (technically, she's from Auburn, about 30 miles south of Seattle). I have very fond memories of an evening some 15 or so years ago, when I wandered into Bud's Jazz Records in Seattle. A good friend of mine, now deceased, worked part-time at Bud's, and the evening I went to visit him at work, Diane Schuur was sitting at the small counter at the front of the store. My friend, David, was chatting with Diane, playing her newest recording on the store's stereo system, as Deedles sang along with the record. There were just the four of us -- Bud Young (the owner of the store), David, me, and Diane -- and we spent two delightful hours talking with her, and listening to that amazing voice of hers at a distance of about 3-5 feet.

Although Diane is blind, she was kind enough to autograph the cover of her album for me. I still have the LP and jacket, along with some 25 other albums I've gotten autographed by some of the great jazz artists of the past 30 years.
Yeah, but the quality of the jazz is something else. I went to the JAZZFM website and it sounds terrible. I guess that I don't venture into the world of 'smooth jazz' or 'lite jazz', but clicking on the JAZZFM was a shock. Oi! Kenny G on the website... scary.

Beyond WPLU (which sounds great), I highly recommend KCSM (in the Bay Area, it's 91.1) which also has a 'web presence.' They're similarly a public station, 24/7 straight ahead jazz with no commercials. The best thing in the Bay Area.
Believe it or not. I've lived near Seattle since 1979, and have listened to KPLU since that time. Seattle has a thriving local jazz scene, probably one of the best in the country outside of NYC.

But it wasn't until I made a recent trip to Saint-Peterburg, Russia that I learned what a weak station KPLU was. This Russian city with a poplulation of over 5 million has the best 24 hour jazz station I've ever heard. KPLU attempts to provide a little bit of everything to appeal to all tastes. But the greatest overall program material I've ever experienced was during that 17 day trip to Russia! Though it's in Russia, St. Pete is a city with as much a European flair as Russian, so perhaps that explains their expertise in developing such a wonderful radio station. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought I was listening to a jazz station from the Bay Area. Kind of blew me away! Enjoy!