Audience Insight Report 2021
StoryFutures and StoryFutures Academy (The UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, run by the National Film and Television School and Royal Holloway, University of London) have launched their first Audience Insight Report.
The UK’s creative industries are one of the jewels in the UK’s economic and cultural life. Immersive storytelling offers an opportunity for growing the value of this sector in both economic and cultural terms but it is also an area that has, like the rest of the creative industries, been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. From the closure of venues that have represented a key distribution pathway through to lockdown and social distancing measures preventing or adversely impacting production, this has been a challenging time for the sector. Audiences have, in turn, been starved of some of the magical possibilities that can be realised when great storytelling meets new technologies.
Our focus in this report is on the users of immersive technologies. The report is based on a range of studies that span the Extended Reality (XR) gamut, including Augmented Reality (AR) apps on phones and large screens, Mixed Reality (MR) headset experiences and a long range study of Virtual Reality (VR) headset users. This report aims to help further understanding of what the value of immersive storytelling is to users and the creative industries alike. We look at value in economic, social, emotional, reputational and cultural terms.
This report was conducted by staff at StoryFutures and StoryFutures Academy.
StoryFutures is led by Royal Holloway, University of London and is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s unprecedented Creative Industries Clusters Programme. StoryFutures undertakes challenge-based research with partners in London and the ‘Gateway Cluster’ to deliver game-changing R&D projects that realise the potential of immersive technologies through innovation in story form and content.
StoryFutures Academy is the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling led by the National Film and Television School and Royal Holloway, University of London. It delivers creative training and research programmes in immersive storytelling to ensure the UK creative workforce is the most skilled in the world in the use of VR, AR and MR.
Professor James Bennett is Director of StoryFutures Creative Cluster and Co-Director of StoryFutures Academy. He is Professor of Television and Digital Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Professor Polly Dalton is one of the Audience Insights leads for StoryFutures and StoryFutures Academy. She is Professor of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Professor Olga Goriunova is one of the Audience Insights leads for StoryFutures and StoryFutures Academy. She is Professor of Digital Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Dr Chloe Preece is the StoryLab Future Audience Researcher at StoryFutures and StoryFutures Academy. She is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Dr Laryssa Whittaker is a Research Fellow, Audience Insights, at StoryFutures, focusing on ethnographic and qualitative research of immersive audiences.
Isabelle Verhulst, MBA, MSci, is an Audience Insight Researcher at StoryFutures and StoryFutures Academy, focusing on immersive audiences’ attitudes and behaviours.
Dr Andy Woods is a Senior Research Fellow, Audience Insights, at StoryFutures, focusing on online quantitative research with immersive audiences.
Thanks to Olivia Hinkin, Kristina Glushkova, Jura McKay, Will Saunders; Catherine Allen, Freya Campbell and the entire Limina Team; our long range study research assistants: William Hertzell, Tom Holmes, Jodie Pearton, Leela Saengprathum; and all participants in our studies.