Nearly half of people engaged with arts and culture digitally during the pandemic

April 2022

Cultural Participation MonitorWave 6 | Spring 2022

This research is from The Audience Agency's nationwide longitudinal (ongoing) panel survey of changing views about participating in creative and cultural activities through the recent and ongoing crises, and beyond, the Cultural Participation Monitor.


Nearly half of people say that they engaged with arts and culture online in some form during the pandemic, weighted towards audiences who are younger, typically high cultural engagers anyway, or disabled.

Overall, 45% of people said they had taken part in an online cultural activity during the pandemic.

  • This is much higher in the 16-24 age category, as well as for Metroculturals.
  • Those with some specific types of disability were also more likely to engage online than the overall average, such as those who are visually impaired and those with depression or anxiety.
Figure 1. Column chart of online cultural engagement by Audience Spectrum segment.

The types of activity with the most online engagement are watching a performance/event, following by a virtual tour/online exhibition.

  • More niche categories like immersive/virtual reality digital art or online creative workshops see 5-10% of respondents taking part.
  • It should be noted that across nearly all online activities, the same percentages of respondents said they were doing this before the pandemic.
  • Watching a live or recorded performance online is the exception, increasing from 23% to 28%.

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