Back at the end of 2013, Sound and Music launched the Audience Development Incubator with the idea that we could empower people to understand more about a crucial aspect of working in new music, the audience. Nearly two years on and 13 projects later we’re still keen on audiences and have redesigned the programme to take all the best bits of the Incubator. We call it Audience Labs.
Audience Labs is the only programme of it’s kind within the UK and that’s pretty special. It’s a programme dedicated to offering anyone the chance to explore their audiences further, to experiment and take risks. Each round we’ll take up to 6 projects and work with them for 6 months and see what we find. We’re looking to you to see what it is that you want to test. Maybe you have a hunch that people that are into bikes would also be interested in what you’re doing so you want to explore that, or maybe you want to trial 100 different ways of emailing your current audiences with micro changes. Whatever it is, we want you to come along and share with us.
To get you feeling experimental here are some exemplary projects from the Incubator to inspire you:
New Dots are new music promoters who were interested in how collaborative work across art forms can lead to new audiences for new music. Based around an event they had in November last year they trialled extending their communications to encourage multiple event attendance whilst also increasing their audience reach. One of the methods they trialled was social advertising – you can read their interesting results here. They also became self confessed audience data geeks!
Tusk Festival experimented with a mini version of their festival named, Tusk Mini. For this version of their even they worked with fellow incubatees Hugs Bison to livestream the festival. Importantly, the livestreaming added an entirely new aspect and was considered for the audience in mind so featured fly-on-the-wall style behind the scenes content, unavailable to regular audiences. This opened up their festival to audiences across the world and helped extend the reach of the Tusk festival.
Forma are creative producers who were working with sound artist Ed Carter to produce Fl10s: False Lights Seaham as part of East Durham Creates. Their Incubator project focused on creating Notebook Fl10s a resource to help audience explore the creative process behind the work through digital media, presented in Prezi. Notebook is currently still in development with Forma now looking to expand the experience online.
Hopefully that’s whet your audience whistle and shown you a little peek into the possibilities that Audience Labs could hold for you. The programme is open to anyone: composer, producer, manager, artist, creator, marketer… Whether you’re a furious experimenter fervent on testing or simply looking for a place to get started with audience development, Audience Labs is for you.