In September 2020, 70% of respondents say they are participating in online arts or cultural experiences, down slightly from 73% in July and 75% in May. Rates of engagement online have fallen by around 5-6 percentage
points in most states/territories, with the largest falls noted in SA (down 10%) and WA (down 8%).
Audiences are continuing to participate in a range of cultural activities at home, such as listening to music (90%) and reading for pleasure (87%). Smaller, but consistent, proportions are making art or craft
(41%), making music (24%) and making videos or doing photography (23%).
In terms of the types of online experiences people are engaging with, most types of experiences are attracting similar rates of engagement to July 2020. Participation in prerecorded performances and events
continues to reach the largest proportion of audiences, though this rate has fallen slightly from 51% to 46%.
When asked if they, or anyone they know, has discovered a new artist, artwork, or performance online, 31% said they had, similar to July (33%), and 15% say they know someone who has, similar to July (16%).
When asked if they are doing online arts and cultural activities more or less frequently than before the pandemic, 54% say they are engaging online more frequently, consistent with July (54%). More of these
audiences expect to continue to do online arts and cultural activities after the pandemic ends, too (74% compared to 72% in July).
Slightly more people are paying for experiences, but not necessarily spending more
The data shows that the market for digital offerings is not declining. When asked if they have paid for an experience online, 39% of respondents said they have, compared to 36% in July and 34% in May 2020.
The rate of donation appears stable (20% compared to 19% in July), as is the proportion subscribing to digital platforms (10%, stable). The proportion paying for single pay-per-view experiences has risen
(21%, up from 16% in July and 12% in May), potentially as a result of more offers coming online. The proportion of those paying who have spent over $100 in the fortnight before data collection, has fallen
slightly, from 17% to 14%.
Figure 3: Have you paid for any online arts & culture experiences in the past fortnight? (Phases 1, 2 and 3)
Audiences have multiple motivations for paying for online experiences
In Phase 3, audiences were asked ‘Thinking about your likely future spending online, if any, can you tell us what you’d prioritise?’
Many people mentioned classes, workshops and learning opportunities, across all artforms, skill levels and age groups. Another theme in the responses was flexibility to access content on-demand, as one person
Ease of access. Possibly things that allow me to access the content for a certain amount of time not just once.
Some people mentioned that they don’t expect to keep paying for streamed theatre or music performances when venues re-open.
As it has been noted in previous phases, many people spending online are motivated to support the artists and cultural organisations they care about. While the rate of donation currently remains high, there
are indications that audiences may not continue at this level long-term, as one person said,
[I’m] supporting arts companies that I currently subscribe to, but may not be able to in the future.
To explore the data in more detail and find out how audiences for your work are responding, visit the study’s Australian website homepage.
There, you can access a range of Fact Sheets and a dynamic dashboard, to help you explore the results by location, artform and other variables. Instructions and tips for using the dashboard are available
in a short video.
To receive future Snapshot Reports, Fact Sheets, and resources in your inbox, as soon as they are available, you can opt in to receive Audience Outlook Monitor news at the link above.
If you have a question, or an idea to put forward, relating to this study, you can contact Patternmakers.