New research identifies three groups of concert stream users

New research identifies three groups of concert stream users

Audience preferences for digital classical music events: New research identifies three groups of concert streaming users

Audiovisual streaming services bring the live classical concert experience to viewers’ homes. Credit: MPI for Empirical Aesthetics / L. Bittner

The circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic have served as a catalyst for the development of new digital concert formats, from Twitter streams from the living room to on-demand HD productions in media libraries. To find out which of these forms have potential after the pandemic, artistic experiments are as important as academic research into the connections between formats and audience experiences.

A team of researchers, including the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPIEA) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, has now investigated whether there are different types of audiences for classical concerts. In doing so, they have identified three groups with different preferences.

As part of a larger research project on the production and design of digital concert experiences (“Digital Concert Experience”), the research team conducted an online survey among 1,619 viewers of classical concert streams. Participants provided information on their sociodemographics, their experience using streaming platforms, and their preferences for different possible production functions of digital classical music events.

“The framework for concert streaming differs from that for live events: it includes aspects of mediatization that can be designed very differently. These features naturally influence the experience and are therefore of great importance for the design and observation of digital concerts,” explains Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann, Director of the MPIEA and lead author of the study.

For example, it is useful to distinguish between live use with and on-demand use without temporal co-presence. In addition, the digital concert experience also depends on the technical characteristics of the presentation platforms and interactive elements, such as the possibility to interact with other viewers.

Based on the data collected, the researchers were able to identify three audience groups with different preferences and usage patterns: More than half of the respondents were ‘digital concert lovers’. This group is open to innovative and diverse concert features that fully exploit the possibilities of digitality, as well as the use of social media channels.

The “digital concert purists” made up about a third of the users. They prefer traditional concert functions and on-demand streaming. About 15% of the participants were rather undecided about their preferences, so the researchers therefore called them “undecided and less engaged concert users.”

The results of the study were recently published in the Journal for arts management, law and societyThey show that socio-demographic characteristics and musical preferences have a significant, albeit weak, correlation with membership of the mentioned audience groups.

These findings suggest that producers need to develop clearly differentiated types of classical concert streams to reach the widest possible audience.

More information:
Hauke ​​​​Egermann et al, Development of digital classical concert streaming offers – A typology of audience preferences, The journal for arts management, law and society (2024). DOI: 10.1080/10632921.2024.2347397

Provided by Max Planck Society

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