War-Rak/Banksia Festival for La Mama's Reopening. 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.

Access Free Dashboard

Key Findings – April 2023

Snapshot Report: How rising inflation is impacting audiences

  • Increasing interest rates and cost-of-living pressures are impacting consumer confidence.
    • Financial reasons are now the top barrier to attending, and many audience members are looking for free/cheap things to do (54%).
    • Audiences are feeling the pinch with around 4 in 10 (42%) saying they are ‘worse off’ than they were a year ago and 5 in 10 (51%) reporting they are ‘the same’.
    • Average spending levels are decreasing, with 6 in 10 (59%) of those attending in the past fortnight spending over $50 or more, down slightly from August (63%) and October 2022 (63%).
    • Sizeable numbers also reported that the price they are willing to pay to attend (35%) and/or their frequency of attendance (48%) has decreased.
  • Different audience demographics are responding very differently to current pressures.
    • Parents are the most likely to say they are ‘worse off’ (57%) with families facing higher housing costs, and now having to factor in ticket prices to a greater degree.
    • Contrastingly, audiences over 55 are now attending and spending more: 78% attended a cultural event in the past fortnight, the highest rate seen in the study since it began in March 2020 and 40% spent more than $100 in the past fortnight, compared to 37% in August 2022.
  • A lack of money is not the only consideration – the data also suggests a perceived lack of time and a lack of energy, as lifestyles continue to evolve after the pandemic. 24% say they are inhibited by ‘prioritising other things’.
  • Last minute ticket buying is here to stay (for the time being!) and many audiences are taking longer to make decisions (50%) around attendance.
    • Ticketing initiatives to support more price-sensitive audiences are important, but last minute discounting is likely not the answer.
    • Early booking incentives, youth ticket prices, or family offers may yield better results to get the bookings rolling in.
  • Audiences are looking for fun and new experiences. 7 in 10 audiences say they will be attracted to fun, uplifting things in the coming year – and 53% want to try new things they haven’t experienced before.

Download the latest report

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.

User: access@AOM.com.au

Password: Australia

Access results dashboard

Download reports