AEA publishes research exploring the impact and future of digital theatre in the UK

October 11, 2016

AEA is pleased to share "FROM LIVE-TO-DIGITAL: Understanding the Impact of Digital Developments in Theatre on Audiences, Production and Distribution," commissioned and funded by Arts Council England (ACE), UK Theatre, and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT).

The research uncovers the opportunities and questions that ‘Live-to-Digital’ – the combination of Event Cinema, streaming and downloading online, and television broadcast – presents across the full range of arts and cultural forms.

AEA Consulting investigated:

- How organisations that produce, present, exhibit and distribute theatre in England are being affected by ‘Live-to-Digital’;

- How and why audiences are engaging with theatre in digital formats; and,

- What the wider cultural sector can learn from the experience of the theatre sector and its audiences (as identified and studied in this research)

The research reveals that while Live-to-Digital work is important and satisfying to those who enjoy it, it is not a replacement for live theatre viewing. Little evidence points towards decreased touring due to Live-to-Digital; most theatre suppliers and producers claim positive benefits overall from Live-to-Digital, even if they have not directly participated in it. Live-to-Digital signals neither the death nor the salvation of live theatre: rather, it represents one means of harnessing rapidly evolving technologies and audience expectations to widen the scope of live theatrical performance.

The executive summary is available here and the full report is here

A response to the report by Arts Council England (ACE), UK Theatre, and the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) is available here

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