‘Musical Theatre in the Digital Age:
To what extent is social media and the internet influencing the landscape of modern musical theatre culture?’
Survey Results and Methodology:
The survey ‘Research into Theatre/Musical ‘Fandoms’ and Social Media’, was created using SurveyMonkey, receiving a total of 348 respondents. It was active from 13/07/19 – 20/07/19 [period of 1 week].
Its was distributed primarily via Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr – both into existing musical fan groups, as well as using musical theatre related hashtages (e.g. ‘#Hamiltion, #Wicked, #MusicalTheatre, #MusicalTheatreFandom, #HeathersMusical, etc).
The survey asked the following questions:
- Which theatre and/or musical ‘fandoms’ do you consider yourself a part of? (Please note, this is looking at FANDOMS specifically, not every show you have seen or enjoyed. However, this can include fandoms you have previously been apart of, even if you are not currently active in it.)
- If you are in a musical/theatre fandom, which of the following websites do you use to engage with the fandom? (Please note, this is just the sites you use to engage with musical fandom content specifically, not necessarily every site you use in general)
- What kind of musical/theatre fandom-related content do you like to engage with? (as a creator or consumer)
- How have you watched the original shows your fandom revolves around?
- Which of the following best describes how you originally got involved in your musical/theatre fandom(s)?
- In your own words, what is that made you initially want to engage with the show/s on a ‘fandom-specific’ level, instead of just casual/passive enjoyment?
- Do you think your experiences with the fandom(s) of the show(s), has altered the way you perceive the original?
- What gender do you identify as?
- How old are you?
- Which location best describes where you currently live?
- The most commonly reported musical fandoms overall were: Les Misérables, Hamilton, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Dear Evan Hansen and Heathers.
- Reportedly the most popular sites for theatre fandom related content are; Facebook (56%), Instagram (53%), YouTube (51%) and Tumblr (42%).
- Certain sites were more popular among certain demographics. Older respondents were more likely to use Facebook, while younger respondents were more likely to use Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. Twitter and YouTube use was relatively high across age-ranges.
- Older audiences were more likely to have seen the live shows.
- Younger audiences were more likely to have watched video recordings; both legal and illegal.
- Bootlegs (51%) were watched more than legal recordings (39%).
- 51% of respondents said that being in a fandom had positively affected the way they perceived the original show.
- 75% of respondents identified as female
- The majority of respondents were from either Europe (55%), or North America (38%)
- 78% of respondents were between the ages of 14 – 30 (total of 272 respondents)
- The demographics collected are highly bias towards females and 14-30-year olds and therefore cannot be generalised to the wider population.
- However, I think it is noteworthy, that while the number of participates (348) is not enough to be able to generalise the wider population, by constantly monitoring the progress and updates of the survey, I can say that percentage-wise, the results have shifted very little since around the ‘200 respondents-mark’ and I think this shows some level of consistency and pattern in the results.
- The research carried out would greatly benefit from being tested on a larger theatre-fan population.
Please find the complete survey results by following this link: