This Week’s Insights: Streaming wars will fragment audiences and end pop culture… Should the arts be gathering data on audiences’ social class?… A ‘decade of reckoning” for classical music… Where theatre is winning over screens.
- Will Streaming Wars End Pop Culture? Our larger culture is defined by common pop culture, the culture we all see and debate and talk about. TV and blockbuster movies get in front of us. But streaming is fragmenting culture behind paywalls, and inevitably we have less common culture between us.
- Will Streaming Fragmentation Help Or Hurt The Movies? Increasingly, movies are debuting behind the paywalls of streaming services. “Abundance can be its own kind of scarcity. Without a sense of occasion, without the idea that a given experience is special, even rare, all experiences become equivalent, and our attention follows the path of least resistance.” So will movies lose their sense of occasion when they’re only seen on the couch in your living room?
- Should Audience Data Include Social Class? We seem to want to measure everything about audience these days. But somehow we’re squeamish about social class. On the other hand, cultural organizations have reason to be wary. “As long as we continue to make vague generalisations about the social background of our audiences and users, we further the conditions in which a culturally entitled minority can continue to benefit from the majority of publicly supported arts and heritage.”
- Classical Music’s “Decade Of Reckoning”: The world of classical music has been changing quickly in recent years. Anne Midgette: “The music isn’t the problem, it’s the way we’re offering it.” Big, inflexible institutions take away the “oxygen and funds” from the smaller organizations, she argues, which typically have a stronger vision and take more risks. Audiences, she adds, prove time and again there’s no lack of interest. “I think the only reason orchestras are struggling is that not everybody wants to go and sit in a concert hall and have that experience. It’s not that people don’t want to hear Beethoven.”
- Theatre Versus Screens – Where Theatre Is Winning: In France, the timeworn art of French marionette theatre “continues to capture minds and hearts in this country in ways that smartphones, video games and the most seducing technologies can’t.” So what is it about this most analog of arts that still captures hearts and minds?