NEW YORK CITY: JCA Arts Marketing has released a new study of digital audience behavior, employing data from performing arts organizations that pivoted to online streaming performances because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Trends in Audience Behavior: Digital Performances” study looks at audience behavior, potential revenue, audience development, and more from virtual programs between April and September. The data was culled from six theatrical organizations of various sizes who hosted digital performances in the first six months of the pandemic.
“With so many arts organizations struggling to survive, we are pleased to provide an initial roadmap for how organizations can develop their audiences through streaming digital performances,” said Steve Jacobson, founder and CEO of JCA, in a statement. “We look forward to doing more in-depth analysis to help the arts sector bridge the gap until audiences return in person.”
Key findings of the study include that 43 percent of audiences for digital programming were new to the organization; that digital audience members who previously attended in-person events are paying higher ticket prices; that digital performances with multiple dates have higher revenue potential; that audiences for digital performances book their tickets closer to the performance date than in-person audiences did; and that 10 percent of digital audiences add a donation on top of the ticket price. The full study is here.
“Digital audience members who had previously attended in-person are some of the organization’s most loyal patrons—and they pay more,” the study notes. “The average in-person tenure of a digital audience member is more than six months longer than the average in-person audience member. This shows us that digital performance can provide a platform to continue to nurture our relationships with our most loyal patrons. In-person audiences also tend to pay a higher ticket price for digital performances—they spend over $10 more on average than digital-only audience members.”
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