Audience Finder Revenue Tracker Insights:

Our Ghost Light report tells us that, as of the beginning of August, at an average rate of £15-20M a week, the revenue shortfall recorded by organisations contributing to Audience Finder so far is £189M. This could indicate a shortfall of £600M by the end of 2020. We will continue to monitor these figures more closely as venues reopen (alongside Cohort analysis)​. You can explore the data further in the Revenue Tracker Dashboard.

Digital Audiences Survey:

Our survey looking at audiences' online cultural engagement habits has so far been distributed by over 100 organisations, garnering thousands of responses. First findings reveal that:

  • 34% of audiences engaging with an organisations online COVID-19 cultural offering, have never attended onsite at that organisation​.
  • Younger and lower-engaged groups were more likely to agree that they’re ‘engaging with online content to reduce feelings of stress’​.
  • 16% of online audiences identified as disabled, significantly closer to the population's 18% than is typical of in-person engagement.
  • More results HERE.

Re-opening Strategies:

  • Urban venues with large % Metroculturals and Experience Seekers audiences are likely to rebuild audiences quickly if they can design smooth user-journey and quality experiences​.
  • Museums need to speak to different concerns – specifically, excellent social distancing for older audiences, offering engaging family experiences, and taking advantage of ticketing opportunities.​
  • There are particular concerns about organisations focused on classical music, plays and drama, who attract traditional core audiences e.g. Commuterland Culturebuffs and Dormitory Dependables. Venues with more traditional programmes may face particular challenges reengaging their core audiences and need to look at reaching out to other groups.

Digital Programming:

  • Curated, cross-venue subscription streaming is a major opportunity for mid-engaged, older groups. “Star-led” and familiar programming are especially attractive to these culturally conservative, less urban, "BBC audiences".
  • Niche digital “hidden gem” and blended live-digital programming are good for targeting the different tastes of Metroculturals and Experience Seekers​.
  • Support and encourage online programming and collections to serve disabled audiences​.
  • It seems that online creative participation is doing well at attracting younger, more socially and culturally diverse emerging artists​.

Community Engagement:

  • It is essential to have realistic expectations, acknowledging that progress with lower-engaged groups affected by unemployment/recession needs additional support and encouragement.
  • Increased local partnership working is going to be essential here. This is something you can talk to us about directly.
  • The way that certain Creative People and Places projects have blended digital and live models in the past is a potentially great inspiration for thinking about how to welcome traditionally less engaged audiences in culturally under-served areas.
  • Large-scale free, neighbourhood-based outdoor events – ideally with level of local involvement – are likely to be one of the more successful early returning artforms, given the necessary additional support/venue collaboration​.
  • Family programming also presents a significant opportunity for live and online engagement.
  • Find out more about this area in our newly published guide to supporting your local creative economy.

Summary implications by artform:


Core audiences in urban centres are likely to remain loyal – premium pricing may be an issue for some.


Given the audience profile, contemporary dance has a better prognosis than other performing arts.


Much participatory activity pivoted online successfully; though independent publishing has taken a hit.


It is essential to create differentiated offers for family and older groups.

Multi arts centres​

Audience patterns vary, though it is worth focusing on younger and community-oriented audiences.


Anxious, older audiences are particularly likely to be slow to return to engagement. There are opportunities to develop new digital audiences but organisations need to be clear on who a new digital offer is for.

Outdoor Arts​

Re-engaging low engaged, hyper-local audiences is key, as is pursuing partnership opportunities with traditionally indoor venues.

Visual Arts​

Best prognosis for rebuilding onsite audiences and mixed onsite-digital​.

Creative People and Places​

This artform's sales has been the least affected. There has been online and replicable success through their pre-existing blended model. There is, however, a need to acknowledge and tailor ongoing strategies to community's changed priorities.