Why we did it

We developed this segmentation to provide the Arts Council and others working in the arts with:

  • greater knowledge of the levels and broad patterns of arts engagement in today’s society, across both arts attendance and participation
  • better understanding of the motivations and behaviours of different audience groups, including both those who are already active in the arts and those who currently have little or no engagement
  • insight into how the arts fit into people’s overall lives today, by illustrating how aspects of arts engagement are associated with patterns in other lifestyle choices, behaviours and attitudes
  • ideas and inspiration for strategies for engaging more people with the arts

How we did it

In 2008 Arts Council England worked with TGI Insights and Integration (part of Kantar Media) to develop the segmentation based on data from Taking Part and TGI (Target Group Index) surveys. For more details on the analytical methodology see the FAQs and technical note.

In 2011 the segment profiles were updated using more recent data from the Taking Part and TGI surveys.

More information about this research

Segmenting audiences is not in itself a new approach for many arts organisations, and is standard business practice for most commercial organisations and an increasing number of public bodies. Different organisations adopt different methods for segmenting different markets, depending on their needs. Our approach to segmentation has three key features:

  • it covers all English adults, not just a particular audience group – this enables artists and arts organisations to understand their current audiences within the context of wider patterns of arts engagement, and allows us to gain insight not only into current audiences but also into potential future audiences among those who are currently not engaged with the arts
  • it starts with the arts – while existing population-wide segmentation tools (eg ACORN and Mosaic) are based largely on the socio-demographic characteristics of different groups, this segmentation is based on the arts: each of the segments has a distinct pattern of arts engagement and attitudes towards the arts. It therefore provides a tailored tool for arts marketing in particular, allowing us to explore socio-demographic and other lifestyle factors in the context of people’s artistic lives, not vice versa.
  • it looks across the patterns of both arts attendance and participation – the events people go to see as well as the activities they take part in at home or with friends