Thumbs up for digital theatre screenings
SOLT/ACE report suggests ‘minimal’ impact on audience numbers
A new report says that cinema screenings of live theatre has had a ‘minimal’ impact on theatre audiences.
The report, commissioned by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), UK Theatre and Arts Council England (ACE) is the first major research into the impacts and opportunities of live to digital work on theatre audiences and organisations.
It found that
- Audiences do not believe Live-to-Digital is a substitute for Live Theatre
- There has been minimal impact on live attendance
- Overall touring has remained stable, but some organisations are experiencing challenges
A survey also showed that 54% of respondents said they preferred live theatre
and that overall, arts organisations believe live-to-digital has a positive impact
The report, carried out by AEA Consulting, also discovered that 40% of organisations who have not yet entered the market say that a "lack of understanding about how to enter the market" is holding them back.
In response, Arts Council England says its plans further research into new showcasing opportunities while UK Theatre will support capacity-building, negotiate standard agreements for digital rights, and explore the idea of a clash diary.
Simon Mellor, Executive Director of Arts and Culture at Arts Council England, said:
"We're delighted to have partnered with UK Theatre and SOLT to commission this important piece of research. It clearly shows that the threat from 'live to digital' to Live Theatre is minimal.
Julian Bird, chief executive of SOLT and UK Theatre, said," We welcome the findings of this report which will help us roadmap how ACE, UK Theatre and SOLT can work with organisations to help ensure the sector remains vibrant and relevant in a fast-changing landscape."