DIGITAL STREAMING: TECHNOLOGY ADVANCING ACCESS AND ENGAGEMENT IN PERFORMING ARTS ORGANIZATIONS
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Type of Work70 pages
ProgramMA in Arts Administration
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SubjectsArts administration -- Theses.
Arts administrators are embracing technology’s role in their organizations, particularly as it relates to audience development. As technology progresses, and online platforms act as supplemental tools to engage both current and potential patrons, the ability to easily capture live performances in digital mediums continues to grow. Organizations hope to extend their reach as well as diversify their audiences, since audience diversity among performing arts patrons remains uneven. Race, socioeconomic background, education, and geography continue to act as barriers to accessibility, resulting in audience demographics that do not reflect an entire population. Digital streaming remains controversial—that video footage minimizes the live theatre experience is a position strongly held by digital streaming’s detractors. Despite concerns that digitally streaming performing arts events is costly or contradictory, evidence suggests that it is both a viable and attainable solution for arts organizations to not replace the in-person experience but enhance it. Streaming the performing arts can boost audience development efforts, both in sustained growth of existing audience groups and as an entry point for new attendees. Streaming enhances a current patron’s engagement experience, promoting repeat business as well as increasing word-of-mouth promotion, a key component of marketing in the twenty-first century. For members of demographic groups not already engaged, streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu allow them access and discovery to the arts via their primary source of entertainment. Streaming performances can be an easy introduction to new artistic disciplines, promoting interest and future in-person activity. Arts organizations that currently utilize streaming technology are augmenting current patron experiences and offering an additional entry point for those who have yet to attend.