Digital Culture 2014

How arts and cultural organisations in England use technology

Nesta and MTM London

In 2013, Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta launched the Digital Culture study, an annual survey tracking digital technology use by arts and cultural organisations in England from 2013 to 2015. Established alongside the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, the research provides quantitative evidence about the use, importance and impact of digital technologies.

Over 6,500 arts and cultural organisations across England were invited to complete the first year survey, and 891 responded, providing a robust baseline for the study. The 2013 report found that almost three-quarters saw digital as essential to their marketing, and almost 60% viewed it as essential for preserving and archiving, and for their operations. Almost half (47%) were creating ‘born digital’ works native to, and created for, the digital space, and one third (32%) saw digital technology as essential for distributing and exhibiting their work.

This year, 947 organisations responded to the Digital Culture survey, including 384 who also participated in 2013. Once more, respondents provided information about digital activities, their importance and impact, perceived barriers and skills gaps, and future plans.

Whereas the 2013 survey found considerable change in take-up of digital activities (significant numbers had adopted new activities within the 12 months before the survey), this year’s survey paints a picture of organisations consolidating their digital activities and enhancing their impact. With detailed longitudinal analysis planned for 2015, this report describes the major developments in 2014, the characteristics of those organisations experiencing major positive impacts, and their digital plans for the year ahead.

Alongside this 2014 report are a series of fact sheets which highlight key findings for the six main subsectors included in the study: Museums, Galleries, Performing Arts Venues, Performing Groups, Combined Arts Centres, and Festival and Events. The report data is publicly available through a dedicated online portal.

Source: Executive Summary