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Alternative Modes of Arts Participation Survey Highlights – Music

Hong Kong Arts Development Council commissioned a research consultancy to study the public perceptions of and behaviours on alternative modes of arts participation during COVID-19, in particular being the audience via alternative channels such as social media, paid video-on-demand platforms, and TV / radio broadcast. An online survey was conducted in January 2021 on a random sample of 1,500 Hong Kong citizens aged 16-64. Full report of the survey has been published here. The following is a summary of findings on the Music section.


1 Changes in Overall Participation Incidence
  1.1 For the purpose of this survey, Music programmes referred to performances of Chinese and Western music, vocal music, choir, opera and jazz music. Pop music concerts and band shows were excluded.
  1.2 Participation in Music programmes dropped from 29% in 2018-2019 to 21% during COVID-19. (See the left of the chart below)
  1.3 Of the 1,500 respondents, 61% had at some point participated in Music programmes as audience. 14% of the respondents were Retaining Participants, who were not influenced by COVID-19 and had participated in all time periods. (See the right of the chart below) 
  1.4 Despite 13% of the respondents having lapsed since the COVID-19 outbreak, 4% resumed participation in Music programmes during the epidemic. (See the right of the chart below) 
  1.5 During COVID-19, married persons having children under the age of 18 were more active in watching Music programmes or participating in other kinds of activities related to Music.

  1.6 In 2018-2019, 40% of female audience participated in Music programmes only via physical modes whereas over half of male audience participated only via alternative modes (see the chart below). This might explain why women constituted 58% of those Lapsed Participants since COVID-19. 
2 Physical-mode and Alternative-mode Participation and Future Potential
  2.1 The percentage of audience participation in Music programmes via alternative modes grew from 66% in 2018-2019 to 93% during COVID-19. The main channels were social media platforms and TV/radio broadcast. (See the right of the chart below) 
  2.2 Compared to physical-mode participation before the epidemic, alternative-mode participation in Music programmes during COVID-19 was more frequent. (From the left of the chart below, in 2018-2019, 52% of physical-mode participants participated 2 times or more on average per year; whereas during COVID-19, 60% of alternative-mode participants participated 2 times or more.)
  2.3 During COVID-19, 25% of participants were willing to pay for alternative-mode Music programmes. (See the left of the chart below) 
  2.4 Participation rate in non-local Music programmes during COVID-19 (51%) was higher than that before the epidemic. (See the left of the chart below)
  2.5 68% of all respondents expressed interest in participating in Music programmes at post-COVID-19 period, more than double the actual participation incidence (33%) in Jan 2018 - Jan 2021. Although respondents expressed greater interest for both physical- and alternative-mode participation in Music programmes, the interest growth for physical-mode participation was more prominent.
3 Potential Participants
  3.1 Nearly 70% of the respondents expressed interest in Music programmes at post-COVID-19 period. From the chart below, it could be seen that the sample of potential participants (the right column) and that of Music programme audience from Jan 2018 to Jan 2021 (the middle column) were both skewed towards people aged 25-34 and married persons having children under the age of 18. They generally had higher educational attainment and household income. 
  3.2 In addition, white-collar workers and blue-collar workers each made up around 30% of the potential physical-mode participants, whereas potential alternative-mode participants were more skewed towards blue-collar workers (38%). 
  3.3 Potential participants of alternative-mode Music programmes expected to pay at two-third of the physical ticket price (see the left of the chart below). Married persons having no children under the age of 18 expected an even greater discount for alternative-mode Music programmes.
  3.4 70% of potential participants at post-COVID-19 period did not participate in Music programmes at the moment (i.e. they were Lapsed Participants or Non-participants), primarily because they had not received information on the arts programmes. Among those Lapsed Participants who expressed interest in physical-mode participation at post-COVID-19 period, 29% did not participate in any Music programmes in 2018-2019 due to high ticket prices (see the chart below). Therefore, in order to attract them to attending physical-mode Music programmes, more focus on the pricing strategies and marketing approaches would be necessary. 
Click here to download the full analysis on the Music section.