We love that Live Literature exists in so many different ways and freely acknowledge that this report can’t (and doesn’t try to) cover all of them. Instead, it draws together what we know of Live Literature from the many hundreds of organisations that contribute booking and survey data to Audience Finder. Even then, Live Literature events represent a small slice of Audience Finder data: roughly 1% of bookers and 0.5% of tickets. But one of the advantages of having such a large overall dataset is that this small proportion still represents a lot of information – over a 100,000 bookers from more than 100 venues and 12,000 surveys.
This is also a big enough pool of data to allow us to recognise the great variety within it. We can see how different particular types of Live Literature are from each other, the extant to which audiences differ by place and the role that different groups’ varying motivations play in that diversity. The rich variety of
Live Literature events is matched by the heterogeneity of its audiences. Moreover, while the overall satisfaction is remarkably high (98% good or very good), we can break those numbers down by groups and demographics to prompt reflection on what can be done to further grow audiences and increase the impact of future Live Literature events.
Beyond the use – and comparisons with – the overall gures given here, we hope that this report will encourage greater appetite among Live Literature organisations to better understand their audiences. The Audience Agency provides a wide range of courses, services and tools that can help, including Audience Finder itself, but we want to learn from literature organisations too. If you have insights and analysis of Live Literature audiences that you’d like to share with us, we’d be very interested to see them.
Published January 2020
This new report, commissioned by Arts Council England, examines reading habits, motivations for reading and how people are choosing to engage with literature.
As many of us strive to do our civic duty by sitting on the couch, the creative industries have stepped up to save us, offering a myriad of amazing, free online opportunities to keep engaging with arts, culture and heritage from home.