Not every cultural experience takes place live and in-person. Sometimes profound, even transformative connections to the arts, sciences, and informal learning take place via media. What’s more, “new media” like podcasts and augmented reality are changing the way “old media” look, feel, and sound—and how people expect to engage with all kinds of culture: Intimately. Actively. Spontaneously. In shared experiences that create immediate or virtual communities.
From public radio and film festivals to podcast networks and social-justice productions, we love helping media innovators understand engagement and expand their reach. Our research goes well beyond “how many people,” answering the deeper questions about meaning-making, affiliation, and social impact. For clients such as Chicago Public Radio, Slate Podcasts, and the Seattle International Film Festival, as well as numerous cultural organizations developing new content and platforms, we’ve seen how research can fuel experimentation and diversify audiences.
If that’s what you’re trying to do at your media enterprise, let’s talk.
The totality of the audience research has been a game-changer for us. In particular, the segmentation has given us “ammunition” for our experimentation agenda and a new language to use when we’re developing programming. This language is now a part of our everyday parlance… The work you do and the way you think are inspirational…”Caroline Goeser
Explore our media engagement practice-areas
Public radio & television
In public media, “core” and “cume” ratings can only take you so far. Our audience research answers richer, more strategic questions about why and how audiences listen or watch…and why they don’t. It’s not just that the terrestrial broadcast is begin eclipsed by streaming and on-demand listening. It’s that podcast listening is different: more dependent on personality, authenticity, spontaneity, and the complex connection between the host and listener. We can help you navigate those shifts successfully and create compelling experiences not just for new platforms, but also new audiences.
Is your organization doing public media differently? Let’s have a conversation.
Film & media festivals
In our work with the Seattle International Film Festival, the Center for Asian American Media, and other film and media festivals, we’ve seen how audiences value the shared experience of watching a film together—looking up at a sizable screen instead of down at a small one. But we recognize that festivals have a hard time competing with the dizzying depth and range of content available at a keystroke. How can your festival not only get audiences out of the house and into your venues, but also earn their institutional support and ongoing engagement?
Our audience research can help answer those and other strategic questions. We’d love to hear from you.
For years, our research and evaluation studies have helped leading visual and performing arts organizations create compelling digital and media content, from exhibit interactives to online video series, marketing promos to standalone arts experiences. We’ve learned that arts media must do more than merely “capture” the live performance or exhibition content. Media experiences must meet the very different expectations that people bring to digital experiences. Expectations for human connection with the art and (especially) the artists. For unexpected insights. For access to the process, not just the “product,” of creativity.
Developing those rich, rewarding arts media experiences is easier when you use research & evaluation as tools for collaboration. Let’s talk.
You’ve moved way beyond “voice of god” narration and talking heads. You’re connecting science to pop culture with personal storytelling, humor, emotion, and informality. Most importantly, you’re thinking broadly and creatively about your audiences, outcomes, and impact.
We’re right there with you, ready to provide the kind of audience research or program evaluation that will help you explore new possibilities and broaden your reach. We work with science podcasters, public media producers, art-science innovators, and other science media creators, viewing engagement through the broad lens of culture—which includes but doesn’t boil down to learning.
Are we talking your language? Let’s have a conversation.
Youth & community media
No trend in culture and community is more exciting than the blurring of the lines between producer and consumer, professional and audience. And nowhere is that new ethos more visible than in youth and community media production. Civically minded media organizations are putting the tools of creativity and expression in the hands of new creators, young and old, empowering people and communities to find their voices, tell their stories, and build new capacities. We’re proud that one of our staff members was on the team that developed YouMedia for the MacArthur Foundation and the Chicago Public Libraries.
Can research and evaluation support the work you’re doing in youth and community media? Let’s be in touch.