Each year, the Readership Segmentation Surveys produce some intriguing insight and this year was no exception. This year’s results produced more responses than the past few and that data indicates some clear trends and shifts.
Demographics & Occupation Although Millennials continued to dominate, 45-54 demographic nearly doubled over last year and the 65+ age group increased by five times over the same time period. The division between male and female readers was statistically identical to the 2014 results while diversity was up over last year. At the same time, that increase wasn’t even close to dislodging Caucasian as the most common readership group. By and large, these results were mostly unchanged from 2014’s results with the exception of those identifying as professional artists or consultants was a bit higher while those identifying as patrons decreased by similar levels. New to this year’s survey was the question asking those who identified as a board member, manager, or musician, which field they work in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those involved in the orchestra field comprised the majority of responses. The larger ratio of “other” responses included those who self-identified as chamber musicians, working in academia, or a related for profit service provider capacity. Although there continues to be a strong representation among executive and marketing professionals, this question saw a sharp uptick in “other” responses. We examined a similar pattern via the Millennial-only responses we examined in March. Specifically, respondents described positions that have duties and responsibilities which stretch across multiple traditional department titles. It will be curious to see if this is the beginning of a new jack-of-all-trades arts admin. Value, Satisfaction, & Engagement Culture blogs and online newspapers continued to comprise the bulk of outlets readers placed the highest amount of value. The only outlet to receive above average or higher ratings was culture blogs and the overall satisfaction was slightly higher than the previous year while online newspaper satisfaction fell a bit. Readers placed even higher levels of importance on ethical practices of culture blog authors. Although three quarters of readers continue to engage with friends and collages about culture news each week, overall frequency dropped a bit from the previous year. Although readers may engage with friends and colleagues a bit less, responses indicate their reading habits are more frequent. But Why? This was the first year since the economic downturn where readers began to demonstrate a shift in rationale for reading culture blogs. Substance, rarity, timeliness, and perspective are slowly overtaking outlets that rely more on personality and a focus on trendy material. Looking Around And Ahead
Among the most valuable responses each year are those which include topics they would like to see more of in the next year. To that end, here are some of the more common and intriguing responses:
How media impacts the arts, especially as it relates to labor relations. More data. “Improved Marketing in an environment of utter chaos” ( loved that description). Administrative and board recruitment. Substitute musician issues. Musician HR issues. Board governance.
Other culture blogs popular* among Adaptistration readers include (listed alphabetically):
* mentioned by 20 percent or more of respondents that listed their favorite culture blogs.
As always, I want to thank the more than 1000 respondents for taking the time to help provide a broader understanding; your input helps determine the topics we examine.
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