Almost 80 per cent of performing arts tickets are bought online in North America, according to a new study, even though older ticket buyers still rely on traditional media sources.

Capacity Interactive, a digital marketing consulting firm for culture and the arts, carried out a the Performing Arts Ticket Buyer Media Usage Study, which gathered nearly 27,000 responses from recent ticket buyers.

It collected data from 58 arts organisations, including participants from theatres, presenters, dance, and music organisations from across the US and Canada.

The study noted that the advantage of the majority of ticket buyers using online sources to purchase their performing arts passes is the ability to use refined targeting, such as behavioural and interest-based methods and retargeting, and results tracking.

Of the ticket buyers over the age of 65, 89 per cent access news online, while 90 per cent purchased performing arts tickets online in the past 12 months, and 53 per cent are on Facebook.

Around 65 per cent of all surveyed ticket buyers reported using Facebook at least once a week, providing an unparalleled platform for social storytelling, precise targeting and cost-effective media spend.

Email emerged as the most important source of information across all age groups, with over 85 per cent of all respondents saying they get information about events that way. Email allows promoters and venues to contact patrons who have opted in to the specific communications in a highly relevant and personal way.

Seventy-seven per cent of those ticket buyers who visited the Study Partner’s website in the last 12 months did so seeking content about upcoming programmes, outranking all other reasons.

More than 40 per cent of those same ticket buyers who accessed the organisation’s site did so on a smartphone at least once.

Image: Vojtech Okenka