128 | 30, pp. 127-143 | doxa.comunicación

January-June of 2020

A typology of theatre audiences based on the impact of various sources of influence and the use...

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

1. Introduction

Knowledge about consumers’ cultural activity behaviours is essential in managing the entities that offer these activities because it facilitates cultural planning, guarantees economic viability, and allows audience stimulation strategies to be developed (Colbert, 2007; Cuadrado, 1998; Ramon and Basso, 2010; Sellas and Colomer, 2009). The spectator is placed at the centre of the production cycle (Jiménez, 2010) as a crucial resource for ensuring the sustainability of the different stage proposals (Colombo, 2010, Fernández Torres, 2011). This is especially important in the case of theatre, which also requires the physical presence of the audience (Sánchez de Horcajo, 1999: 30). Hence, adequate knowledge about cultural audiences –their behaviour, characteristics, and typological profile–, makes it possible for managers of these organisations to make informed decisions. Segmentation makes it possible to identify the audiences for whom the cultural activities are designed, and it leads to a better positioning of the offer, a price structure based not only on costs but also on audience perceptions, and an appropriate communication strategy (Berenguer and Cuadrado, 2003).

The existing research has taken a large number of variables into account when studying the behaviour of cultural audiences. However, the role of cultural communication has hardly been analysed in this regard, despite the increase in information channels, the proliferation of specialised publications, the large amount of information offered by the Internet, and the changes in a media ecosystem where the usual flow between sender and receiver has been altered (Quintas and González, 2014). All of these elements have made the search for cultural information an essential variable in the construction of new typologies of cultural consumers.

Drawing on the main studies and existing typologies of consumers of theatre activities, this study examines theatregoers’ heterogeneity and proposes a typology based on their use of news, reviews, and reports before buying a ticket, as well as the influence of different media as transmitters of information and creators of a production’s notoriety. Some of the

survey of 210 spectators in three theatres in the city of Valencia. The application of various multivariate statistical techniques made it possible to identify a typology with four profiles of theatregoers: informed-alternative; documented-receptive; distant-independent; and conventional-commercial. This typology reveals that members of the theatre audience are differentially influenced by the media, the thematic content of the representation, the prestige and notoriety of the director and actors, and the intensity with which they search for information and consult opinions and reviews in the media.


Theatre; audiences; cultural communication; mass media; sociology of culture.

gación se basa en una encuesta a 210 asistentes a representaciones teatrales de tres salas de la ciudad de Valencia. La aplicación de di-versas técnicas estadísticas multivariables ha permitido identificar una tipología de cuatro perfiles de consumidores escénicos: los in-formados-alternativos, los documentados-receptivos, los distan-tes-independientes y los convencionales-comerciales. Esta tipolo-gía pone de manifiesto que los consumidores escénicos difieren en la influencia que sobre ellos tiene la presión mediática, el contenido temático de la representación o el prestigio y la notoriedad de la di-rección y el reparto de la obra, así como en la intensidad con la que buscan información y consultan noticias y reseñas en los medios de comunicación.

Palabras clave:

Teatro; audiencias; comunicación cultural; medios de comunica-ción; sociología de la cultura.