The Mission

To develop a deeper understanding of ticket purchasing habits for West End shows: who is attending and what are the attitudes and motivations behind their purchases. Utilise this information to engage potential audiences more effectively and be able to offer a fully informed, bespoke targeted approach with media and campaign choices.

How we did it

AKA teamed up with strategic research consultants, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM) and UK Ticket Agency Encore Tickets to undertake the first ever market segmentation of London’s West End theatre audience.

An email inviting members of the current West End theatre market to take part in a survey was sent to all bookers of West End plays and musicals on Encore Tickets’ database who had booked within the past five years. The survey took place in January 2014 and just under 1,600 people took part.

Based on the data, MHM designed Culture Segments, a psychographic system developed specifically for the arts, culture and heritage sector. It divides the market into eight groups that are distinguished from one another by deeply-held beliefs about the role that art and culture play in their lives.


The 8 segments were divided as follows:

How we use it

The system allows us to consolidate insights from the eight segments’ different attitudes towards risk, their different requirements in terms of planning and their varying levels of receptiveness to different genres.

It is more powerful than other systems because it’s sector specific and because it’s based on people’s deep-seated cultural values and their beliefs about the role that theatre plays in their lives - it gets to the heart of what motivates them.

AKA has profiled the segments using TGI to create in-depth demographic and media consumption profiles for each segment enabling us to provide ever more precisely targeted and efficient campaigns.

Attitudes Towards Risk

Audience attitudes towards risk

During the research, we found that the segments respond differently to risk, with the most innovative segments actively seeking out cultural experiences that are new and unfamiliar, through to the more risk-averse segments who require high levels of popular endorsement before they will engage with culture.

A key element in crafting campaigns is understanding the level of risk a segment is willing to take, how those risks might be mitigated, and how open they will be to persuasion from an outside source.

Greater Insight

Greater Insight

Culture Segments has allowed us to offer a structure for optimum targeting across a campaign and offers our clients a bespoke system which allows a greater depth of insight and efficiency across our media and campaign choices.

MHM continues to update the research so we can ensure we remain informed of our audience’s purchasing activities and the impact this will have on our campaign choices.

The current UK theatre market is made up of 28.2 million individuals, taking into account those who have attended a play or musical in the past three years.

There is a further potential market of 8.5 million, consisting of individuals who have attended a play or musical over three years ago.

Key Findings

AKA teamed up with strategic research consultants, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM) and UK Ticket Agency Encore Tickets to undertake the first ever market segmentation of London’s West End theatre audience.

It showed what a broad appeal West End theatre has, with a current market for plays and musicals in excess of 20 million people nationally.

The findings also reveal a further potential market of approximately 15 million people who have either not been in the past three years or have never been but have expressed an interest to do so.

Consolidating insights from the eight segments’ different attitudes towards risk, their different requirements in terms of planning and their varying levels of receptiveness to different genres has enabled us to develop a structure for optimum targeting across a campaign. We are able to examine previous campaign results to tailor the needs of each campaign to our clients.


It’s our business to understand audiences. This detailed research allows us to know our audiences better than before which means we can personalise our campaigns, contributing to the greater success of our clients.


The Numbers

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