Challenges faced by high culture to attract new audiences in the digital arena
1Participation in all high culture activities at the usual physical venues is mainly female. This tendency – with the exception of ballet – is inverted in the digital environment.
2In both physical and digital participation an initially positive impact exists related with age (higher age means more participation) which, after reaching a maximum, starts to fall (higher age means less participation). A difference, however, can be observed in the turning point, which is higher in traditional consumption (47-49 years) than in digital consumption (29-35 years). This can point, firstly, towards a generational difference and one in consumer habits and, secondly, to the digital divide, linked to age.
3Digital consumption could be an opportunity to increase the participation of people who have difficulties to access certain cultural contents due to their place of residence. However, the same tendency is reproduced as that observed in physical consumption: digital participation is over-represented by those who live in capitals and underrepresented by residents of smaller towns.
4Decisions on physical or digital cultural consumption are interdependent, so individuals who participate in one sphere increase their probabilities of participating in the other.
The graph offers a moderately optimistic view of the role played by digital consumption. Thus, of the 6.2% of individuals that state that they consume high culture online, some 2.6% consume it only in this way and, therefore, they represent a new audience. The remaining 3.5% already participate physically, therefore the Internet is a complementary format for them.
Of those only consuming in digital format, 2.6% could also be physical consumers, if the barriers that they face lost relevance.