LIVE Blog – Talking About Audiences – Event and Webcast

3:12pm You have to be ok with the fact that things can and do go wrong. Perfection is not true to life. Also, even if you forbid the broadcast of your performance… it will happen anyway. Anybody and everybody can put it out there.

3:09pmScott’s work at Lincoln Center — technology offers additional ways in. Digital broadcasts, re-thinking PBS presentations (“second screen access”), making a priority of getting data and mining data from the audience, to reach, segment and target. And allow those folks in turn the ability to mine what you do.

3:07pm It’s about ceding the brand, a bit, to the customer.

3:02pm How are audiences similar and different? Both forms of entertainment exalt virtuosic live performance in a local environment. Audiences for both industries are aging – in live attendance. Differences – greater opportunity to be involved in sport, more platforms for participation. Little league, fantasy leagues, batting cage before the game, post-game experiences and shows. Performing arts don’t have that in a participatory way to the same extent.

2:57pm Scott was involved in the creation of the Showtime Giants baseball reality show. It was something people on both sides had to get used to. But the access is important for audiences. Parallels to the arts? For example, hearing a soloist talking his way through the concerto – as a “secondary screen” experience you could watch.

2:54pm Elizabeth Scott spent 12 years at MLB – at the forefront of a digital revolution in sport. It can be like tap dancing in sand – all the different channels, all the different devices – but being proactive is essential.

Spotlight #1

2:48pm NEA has a lot of research on the value of the arts in the community. They mailed to superintendents across the country. A lot of the research is online at

2:41pm In presenting music and growing the audience – it’s about location, location, location. It can’t just be the hall. It has to be out on the street, on the subway platform, everywhere. You have to get the music out there to the people who like it but don’t go to current concert offerings. This calls for more community partnerships, perhaps. A new Arts and Human Development task force is looking at ways to integrate the arts with health and human development, across agencies of the federal government.

2:38pm Mark Clague: Students today see music as a boundary-less place — still trained in classical music but interest is much wider.

2:32pm Sharing and being a curator/collector of arts is another new role that technology facilitates.

2:30pm Attending a live arts performance is a high predictor of likelihood to volunteer (in general, not just volunteer in the arts).

2:27pm Those who engage in live performance are more likely to do a large number of other public, civic activities: volunteering, other types of performances, etc. Sociologist have a theory of the “omnivore” type.

2:24pm People who watch performances online are 2-3 times more likely to watch live performances. Also, it’s not just young people who are engaging in content online. Middle-aged and older people are embracing it as well.

2:22pm One question the research raises… Has people’s leisure time contracted over time? Does technology enable participation or does it crowd out other forms of participation?

2:16pm NEA research shows that 24% of people say they like to listen to classical music. 9% of people say they have actually been to a live performance in the last 12 months – which is a drop from 13% in 1982. In 2008, “baby boomers” showed a notable drop in attendance.


2:11pm On orchestral clothing – Gilbert believes there should be a uniform, but it doesn’t have to be tails. It should look like a uniform, to dignify the proceedings, to get dressed up for work, kind of thing.

2:60pm We never talk about needing X number of new works in the season – it’s more about the range and the balance of what our audience should hear. There are no quotas. What I hope is that when we play a new piece there’s a much bigger context that it can be listened to than just “it’s a new piece.” It’s music.

2:00pm Feels there has been an evolution in New York even in three years as Music Director of being able to introduce a composer like Magnus Lindberg to the audience.

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