Tomorrow's Audience

Deepening understanding of first-time attenders to help cultural organisations develop the loyal audiences of tomorrow.

A crowd with their backs to the camera, with yellow tones lights shining through.

We ran this Indigo Share: Hot Topic, in association with a consortium of many of the UK’s leading arts organisations, as well as in partnership with Spektrix who offered insight from their aggregated UK audience dataset.

Tomorrow’s Audience was designed to help performing arts organisations across the UK to:

  • Discover more about first-time attenders: who they are, what they do and what they think
  • Uncover differences between the loyal audiences of yesterday and the potential loyal audiences of tomorrow 
  • Understand the drivers of reattendance in order to develop meaningful connections with new audiences and ensure they want to keep coming back

Full report now available

Deepening understanding of first-time attenders to help cultural organisations develop the loyal audiences of tomorrow.

Download the report →

The analysis of aggregated ticketing data from Spektrix showed that:

  • 2023 audiences were larger than ever before 
  • More than half of audiences in 2023 were first-time bookers
  • Audience retention had been declining long before Covid, but 2023 saw new audiences returning at a higher rate than for at least 7 years, showing some green shoots of potential growth for the sector.

The 32,600 survey responses told us that:

  • Around 20% of audiences who were attending the organisation for the first time had never or rarely attended the performing arts pre-Covid
  • New audiences were going out more than those who were previously culturally engaged
  • New-to-arts first-time attenders were having an even better experience than those who attended the arts already and had a greater intention to come back to the organisation again
  • The three key motivators for first-time attendance were People, Familiarity and Occasion - and people needed at least two of these in place to attend
  • The barriers could be summarised as Not on my radar, Too hard and Poor value
  • To attract the audiences of tomorrow, performing arts organisations must boost the motivators and reduce the barriers, using tools ranging from automation through referral schemes to testing and listening.

Results webinar: Watch again

On 30 January 2024, we presented the results of Tomorrow’s Audience at a Spektrix Presents webinar, attended by over 300 people from across the sector. The speakers were:

  • Katy Raines - CEO, Indigo Ltd
  • Kerry Radden - Associate Director, Indigo Ltd
  • Liv Nilssen - Director of Sector Strategy, Spektrix

Kerry Radden, Associate Director at Indigo said:

“This is the first research project to truly understand and quantify the opportunity that new audiences post-lockdown present within the performing arts. Despite the challenges of recovery from the pandemic, our UK arts organisations are not only bouncing back, but managing to attract significant numbers of new attenders - many of whom have discovered the performing arts for the first time. Armed with the insight we have uncovered together, we're confident that the sector can build these new attenders into the audiences of tomorrow and beyond.”

Liv Nilssen, Director of Sector Strategy from Spektrix said:

“By combining booking data from theatres and arts centres right across the UK with expert analysis and survey responses, we’ve learned that there’s a real opportunity to develop new audiences. This unique consortium has brought together technology and consultancy with leading arts organisations to create a truly connected view of audience behaviours and to understand how arts organisations can revitalise connections with their visitors.”

Performing arts organisations in the UK were able to take part for free, thanks to the support of our partner and funders: