This Week’s Insights: Visual art is a big hit with millennials… We have a context crisis… A general downturn in -out-of-house entertainment… Young adults don’t get news on their phones… Do book prizes matter to audiences?
- Where Are The Millennials? Visual Arts: Arts organizations are chasing millennials. Now a new study in the UK says that they’re going to visual arts events. The report says that 41% of visual arts audiences are aged between 16 and 34, whereas for other artforms this demographic comprises 13% of visitors. In contrast, 41% of museum audiences are over 65, according to the report. So what’s the attraction? There are many possibilities, but it may be that “cool” visual arts events are visitable on the visitor’s own terms – come when you want, see what you want to see, then leave. And there’s Instagram. In our visually driven world, being able to snap your selfie in front of something distinctive and status-conscious is attractive.
- When It’s All Just Stuff: When content is just content, when everything is floating out there and accessible, how do you choose? It’s increasingly difficult to find context around the things we see. “Context collapse” is a term coined by the academic Michael Wesch in his 2008 lecture, “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube.” He spoke of “content collapse” and “narrative deficiency” as phenomena that characterize social media, where users have multiple distinct communities—friends, family members, colleagues—collated into a single audience. The differences between traditional face-to-face relationship-based interaction and the potentially infinite audience of social media—or, we might logically extrapolate, businesses that scale in a parallel manner, such as big art fairs—is an issue that these industries are beginning to face. It really comes down to: how do we create meaning around what we see?
- Movie Box Office Was Down This Summer – But So Is Everything Else: At the end of every summer the movie industry worries about whether box office was up or down through the crucial months. This year is was down. But this year the decline might be part of a bigger trend. “Out-of-home entertainment had a down summer in general. Attendance at Major League Baseball games is expected to fall for the fourth consecutive season, according to Two Circles, a sports marketing agency. Broadway attendance has declined 2.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the Broadway League. Increasing conjecture points to competition between in-house entertainment and out-of-house fare. And guess which is on the decline?
- Young Adults: Six Hour/Day On Their Phones But None On News: According to researchers, young adults, and particularly those raised as “digital natives” as part of Generation Z (ages 18 to 24), have high expectations for a “flawless, seamless, personalized online experience” that news organizations are not often able to provide. But is it really a delivery user experience thing?
- Do Book Prizes Matter? Researchers Crunched The Numbers: We ought to be able to tell what effects prizes have on readership and prestige and status. So researchers figured out a formula to find out. What they found is that prizes don’t have huge impact in sales, often. Still, prizes matter in ginning up discussion of winning books. But more surprising is the effect of a nomination alone. With only an appearance on the Booker shortlist, a book moves from total obscurity in the classroom and the pages of literary criticism to respectable showings in both—and it gets a healthy popularity boost.