image of people outside la mama theatre

La Mama reopening festival - December 2021. Credit Darren Gill

What is the Audience Outlook Monitor?

Creative Victoria is part of a global study to track audience sentiment in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Audience Outlook Monitor research is being conducted in stages to understand how audiences feel about engaging with, and returning to, creative events and venues.

This data can be used by artists and creative organisations to support their audience engagement activities and plans for returning to business and recovery.

Respondents to the study are previous attendees of arts and culture organisations.

The full results are available to explore in the freely accessible dashboard.

Victorian Digital Engagement Outlook March 2022

Complementing the COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor report, March 2022, the Victorian Digital Engagement report looks at how Victorians are engaging with arts and cultural activities online.

As Victorian audiences return to in-person events, there has been an overall decline in those participating in online experiences (-9%). However, Victorian audiences are the most likely to be participating in online arts and culture activities compared to their national counterparts.

Digital experiences are seen to offer accessibility, safety and a broader range of content, and 36% of audiences are continuing to pay for digital experiences.

27% of Victorian audiences see a substantial role for digital arts and cultural experiences in their lives, 25% are tired of tech and don’t see a role for it now that in-person events are possible, and 49% continue to selectively engage with digital content as long as it is high quality and provides flexibility.

Read the Victorian Digital Engagement Outlook March 2022

Read the National Digital Engagement Outlook March 2022

Young People 2022 - Audience Outlook Monitor

This report shares insights from over 700 attendees aged 16-35 during March 2022. The report compares results with data previously collected in March 2021, July 2021 and November 2021.

Highlights:

  • 9 out of 10 people under 25 had attended an in-person cultural event, compared to 70% of the general population in the previous fortnight.
  • 34% of young people reported financial barriers to attending events compared to 17% of general population, suggesting a market opportunity for affordable options such as last minute rush tickets and student discounts.
  • 8 out of 10 people under 25 are comfortable with COVIDSafe measures at live events compared to 71% generally.
  • Audiences under 25 are the most likely to be engaging with online arts and culture activities (63%) compared to 41% of general population and are seeking interactive content such as tutorials and classes.

Read the Young People 2022 - Audience Outlook Monitor


Phase 7, March 2022

With the state's COVID-19 case numbers stabilising in early March 2022, audience attendance levels in Victoria are at their highest levels in two years. 7 in 10 Victorian attendees have returned to cultural events, jumping from 23 per cent in November 2021 – though many are still conscious of the risks.

Key COVIDSafe measures will continue to play an important role in consolidating confidence. Victorian arts audiences are in favour of vaccination requirements, and nearly two-thirds are encouraged by mask-wearing despite masks no longer being mandatory in cultural and entertainment venues.

The arts continue to be perceived as vital to community recovery, providing an avenue for healing, joy and social connection during challenging times. While some audiences are yet to return, they are firm in wanting to support artists and help cultural activity to flourish in new ways.

View the accessible version of the March 2022 Report

Audience behaviours

  • 72% of Victorian audiences are attending in-person events
  • 54% say the risk of transmission prevents them attending as they used to
  • 63% feel encouraged by mandatory masks for attendees aged 12+
  • 90% of Victorian arts attendees have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Thought starters for organisations and events

  • 74% of audiences are ‘very comfortable’ in arts and cultural venues.
  • Outdoor venues with fixed seating continue to be perceived as safest.
  • 62% of audiences spent $50 or more on cultural activities in the last fortnight
  • Some audience members will be looking to cultural organisations to adopt a robust approach to COVID safety in order to communicate inclusivity and care for those who are more vulnerable.
  • After being hit hard by repeated lockdowns, the live performance sector can expect a boost – with 61% of audiences, up from just 39% in November 2021, making plans to attend a live performance.

About the Audience Outlook Monitor

Study partners

Creative Victoria is working with audience research specialists WolfBrown and Patternmakers to undertake COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor, along with industry partners including the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, and Arts Queensland.

WolfBrown is also conducting this study in Norway and U.S. cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area.


Research methodology

Baseline data was collected in a cross-sector survey involving over 150 arts and culture organisations including museums, galleries, performing arts organisations and festivals across Australia. To date, 120 organisations are still participating in the research.

In each tranche of research, participating organisations have simultaneously distributed a survey to a random sample of their audience who had attended an arts or cultural event in the two years prior to the pandemic.

No individual respondents or organisations are identified.


Access the results dashboard

The survey data is aggregated in a freely available dashboard, to assist artists and cultural organisations with their decision making and forward planning.

Access the dashboard by following the link below and entering the login details provided. For guidance on how to use the dashboard, visit the Australian homepage for the dashboard, where you can watch a tour, or download the Guide to using the Dashboard.

Link: https://dashboard.intrinsicimpact.org/

User: access@AOM.com.au

Password: Australia


Reports

Audience Outlook Monitor reports specific to Victoria are available for download:

2022

August 2022 Live Attendance Outlook

2021

Victorian Snapshot, AOM, Phase 5 - July 2021

Victorian Snapshot, AOM, Phase 4 - March 2021

2020

Victorian Snapshot, AOM, Phase 3 – September 2020

Victorian Snapshot, AOM, Phase 2 – July 2020

DOWNLOAD: Victorian Snapshot, AOM, Phase 1 – May 2020

Audience Outlook Monitor reports related to specific topics or audiences are available for download:

Victorian Digital Engagement Outlook – March 2022

Young Audiences – June 2022