Find Out Who’s Tuned In To Arts Organizations Today


By: Drew McManus

In: Marketing & Communications, Strategy

The folks at Capacity Interactive (CI) recently published the latest installment of their Performing Arts Ticket Buyer Media Usage Study. The previous installment was released right before COVID-19 so as I’m sure you can imagine, a lot has changed.

I’m still reviewing the content but a few items that jumped out at me from the Key Findings include:

  • 96% of ticket buyers plan to come back to your venues after the pandemic.
  • 90% of respondents find out about events through email. Direct Mail and Word of Mouth were tied for second, but there was a big drop down to 55/54 percent, respectively when compared to email.
  • The effectiveness of print newspaper and radio ads continue to decline.
  • From 2019 to 2021, the channel with the largest increase was web and video content from the arts organization. In 2021, 42 percent of respondents indicated they were most likely to discover events. That number was only 35% in 2019.
  • Older age groups respond well to direct mail whereas younger age groups gravitate toward social media.
  • Forget about TV ads. Seriously, don’t do it.
  • Not forcing ticket buyers to wade through page after page in the online checkout process is one of the best improvements you can invest in to maximize sales.

You can get a copy of the report by giving CI your email and if you’ve been hankering for wavy headline text to come back in style, you’re going to be very happy.

But back to the content, I was especially glad to see them shine some light on the dismal state of most arts org online ticketing buying. The point about giving ticket buyers as short of a process as possible can’t be underscored enough. I’ve seen checkout process that are seven pages long…and that’s for users that already have an account!

The field can’t say goodbye to those old-school processes soon enough.


Drew McManus
Drew McManus
In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower. With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists. For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.
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