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Audience Atlas New Zealand report sets out the market for culture

Audience Atlas New Zealand report sets out the market for culture
June 17, 2018

Creative New Zealand has published the latest Audience Atlas New Zealand research to provide indepth information on this country’s market for arts and culture.

The companion study to New Zealanders and the arts, Audience Atlas New Zealand 2017 is the latest update on the triennial research, which began in 2011. It shows how the market for arts and culture  has changed in composition and value - and how attitudes have changed - over time.

Audience Atlas New Zealand 2017 measures the current, lapsed and potential markets for more than 40 artforms. The study also explores New Zealanders’ behaviour and attitudes towards supporting the arts through donating, volunteering and joining arts organisations.

As well as providing a national overview of the culture sector the research includes specific information by artform, audience segment and region.  It is designed to benefit all arts and culture organisation regardless of size.

Creative New Zealand aims to build arts organisations’ understanding of audiences and increase their ability to develop markets for their work, which will ultimately strengthen the sustainability of country’s arts and culture sector.

Key findings from the 2017 study include:

1. The market for arts and culture in New Zealand is larger than ever: in the past three years, 97% of adults have attended an arts or culture event (from contemporary dance through to seeing a movie outside the home), and there’s been sustained growth in the size of the market over the past six years. Through this data, arts organisations are able to take stock of how much larger the market is for their particular artform compared to six years ago.

2. There might be more people, but they’re being more selective and considered in what they attend: in 2017 people are doing less and are less likely to spend on culture, but those who do spend more. Through better understanding the profile and motivations of the market, arts organisations can develop strategies appropriate to their own organisation that encourage more activity and associated spend.

3. With ‘screen time’ increasingly infiltrating people’s day-to-day, the arts play an important role in providing social experiences: cultural events are highly valued by the New Zealand market for providing connections to other people and quality time with friends and family. This insight helps arts organisations communicate the benefits of what they offer in a more resonant and targeted way.

4. Support for the arts is transitioning: there’s been a steady decline in both the proportion of the market volunteering in support of the arts and the proportion with an active membership or subscription. It may be time to reassess the traditional subscriber and volunteer models to ensure they continue to fit into the lives of modern arts consumers.

5. However, when it comes to financial donations, support is on the up: in 2017, 28% of the market had supported the arts financially in the past three years compared to 23% in 2014. Overwhelmingly the market offers this support through low-commitment, one-off donations for a ‘tangible’ cause.  The potential for longer-term, regular support is growing and there is also significant latent interest in legacy giving. The report offers detailed insight on what and how people want to support which can help organisations develop a philanthropic and development strategy.

6. Consuming arts and culture online is no longer a niche concept: digital technology increasingly influences how the market finds out about arts and culture events.  The market for virtual arts experiences is opening to present delivery platforms that more than 20% of New Zealanders are interested in. Rather than cannibalising real-world arts attendance, digital interactions are complementary and can serve to further encourage people to get out and see the live experience. The report helps understand what types of digital arts experiences offer most potential.

Audience Atlas New Zealand 2017 was launched at Creative New Zealand’s annual arts hui Nui te Kōrero on 23rd May 2018.

Click here to read the full Audience Atlas report.

Image: Arts Festival Dunedin, courtesy of Chris Sullivan. 

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