Audience Atlas Sweden

Concerted audience development requires an in-depth understanding of the whole market and not just those who already visit.

Traditional demographics and behavioural data – although useful – can only take you so far. A rich understanding of audience values and attitudes is essential to building deep, long term relationships with audiences.

These were the two guiding principles behind the creation of Audience Atlas Sweden: a joint project between Morris Hargreaves McIntyre and Stockholms Stad resulting in the most comprehensive study of Swedish culture audiences ever conducted.

3807 Swedes completed the survey which was representative of the total market for arts and culture in the country. A broad definition for art and culture was taken, with 34 art-forms included. These ranged from museums to performing arts and art galleries to comedy, circus, festival and film.

Respondents were also profiled on:

  • Traditional demographics
  • Culture Segments
  • Informal cultural participation
  • Media consumption
  • Barriers to further engagement
  • Spending habits on cultural pursuits
  • Membership habits
  • Online engagement with culture

Five key insights from the study:

Untapped potential

The majority (95%) of the Swedish adult population are active in the culture market.

Cinema and museums have the largest regular markets, but what is striking about the data is the size of the lapsed and potential markets across a range of art forms; even in the case of more ‘challenging’ art forms like ballet and contemporary dance there are thousands with a latent interest who are open to attending.

Audience Atlas Sweden profiles these individuals in detail.

High spend predicted to grow

Members of the Swedish culture market spent an average of 245 SEK on, or related to, cultural activities in the past month.

Half of this spend was on admission or tickets to arts and cultural events, while transport to and from cultural events and food and\drink while at cultural venues each account for around a fifth of total spend.

In total, this equates to 1.66 billion SEK spent on arts, culture and heritage each month - or an estimated 19.92 billion SEK each year.

When recent cultural spenders were asked about their predicted future spend, almost three-quarters thought they would spend a similar or greater amount on cultural activities in the year ahead than the previous twelve months. Less than one in eight predicted they would spend less.

Strong levels of membership and advocacy

A fifth (20%) of those in the culture market are a current member or subscriber to an arts or cultural organisation.

  • 18% are a member 
  • 9% are a subscriber

Almost one in ten of those in the culture market have volunteered at an arts, cultural or heritage organisation in the past twelve months.

Museums lead the way

Sweden’s museum market is the largest of all art-forms, comprising 95% of the culture market.

Three-quarters of the culture market have visited a museum in the past three years. Audience Atlas Sweden reveals who these individuals are, why they attend and how to deepen engagement and venue crossover.

A lapsed theatre market

Sweden’s theatre market – those who have watched a play or drama or have never done so but are interested - includes 92% of the culture market.

However, more than a quarter (27%) of this market have not been to see a play or drama in the past three years, which means there is a huge market open to ‘reactivation’.

Audience Atlas data can help build strategies to capitalize on this.

If you'd like to know more about Audience Atlas Sweden we are offering a limited number of free strategy workshops to Swedish organisations who’d like to know more about how this study might benefit their organisation.

Please contact jossluckin@mhminsight.com for more information if you’d like to book a workshop.


Joss joined MHM in 2012 and leads on the design and delivery of a wide range of audience insight...

A co-founder of Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, Andrew is one of the UK’s leading authorities on...

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Audience Atlas Population Surveys

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