July 12, 2018
We’ve all heard the cry of arts organizations in search of seemingly elusive new audiences. But at every organization for which I’ve worked—organizations of all sizes and various disciplines—getting new audiences was never really the problem.
Despite what we tell ourselves about the need for new people, it’s getting those new buyers to come back that’s the challenge. In fact, the reigning statistic for orchestras in the U.S. is that 90% of first time attendees never return. That’s a lot of people not coming back, a lot of money on the table, and for other arts disciplines, the no-return rate is similar. The Orchestra X project (named after Google[X], the company’s experimental research arm) was launched to figure out why this is happening.