Interest in online cultural events during the pandemicIn the same way that cultural institutions boosted their digital presence during the lockdowns, the audience’s interest in online culture rose during the pandemic too. As of February 2021, 26 percent of surveyed Britons claimed to have taken part in online cultural activities, while just nine percent had attended in-person events. In the following months, however, this scenario gradually changed, with online cultural engagement in the UK declining to 13 percent in November 2021 and in-person attendance bouncing back to 49 percent. A March 2022 poll focusing on online cultural engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK showed that 45 percent of surveyed Britons had taken part in an online cultural activity since the beginning of the health crisis.
With people spending more time at home and most in-person events canceled or rescheduled during the first two years of the pandemic, many artists and cultural institutions started to offer paid online shows and activities, in an effort to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19. According to an April 2021 survey, liking the content or the artist was the main reason individuals paid for online art events in the United States. In contrast, behind-the-scenes content was the least popular purpose for attending a paid online event.