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What is the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries?

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Collecting data from the sector to help policymakers understand & respond to the ongoing crisis

Collecting data from across the sector to help policymakers understand and respond to the ongoing crisis

Note: this page is no longer being updated

At the PEC we want to help policymakers by signposting in one place the rapidly growing number of initiatives to collect survey data on the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries. 

 It is vital that we have the best possible picture of the unfolding impacts the crisis is having on your sector. This will allow policymakers to better target their support.

If you are launching a survey on the impact of COVID-19 and would like to add it to this list, please contact get in touch with us. If you are designing a survey on the impacts of COVID-19 and would like advice on how to make it as useful as possible, we have published 10 tips for designing business surveys to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the creative industries. 

Of course, surveys are not the only instrument for collecting data on the ongoing COVID-19 impacts. We are aware that the creative industries are tracking other data like video on demand and streaming data too. What companies say in public, including on their websites, and what is reported in the media also contains valuable information. At the PEC we are interested in talking to – and, if useful signposting – such data efforts too.

For practical advice on dealing with the pandemic including links to sub-sector and union advice, the Creative Industries Federation have pulled together a list of key resources. 

Surveys for UK businesses

Open Surveys

Baseline – Creative Kernow (ongoing)

Collecting data about the impact of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sectors in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Update (October 2020): the data and analysis for April – July 2020 has been published. Data will be published every three months until the end of the pandemic.

Creative¬†Industries Fedederation –¬†COVID-19 Creative Industries Impact Survey¬†(Completed)

The‚ÄĮpurpose of this survey is‚ÄĮto inform research, and to strengthen the Federation’s case to government as they look to support the UK‚Äôs creative industries during the pandemic and beyond.

Creative Scotland –¬†Covid-19 Scottish Creative Sectors Survey (Completed)

The survey asks about the impact of the pandemic since March 2020 and ongoing issues as we move into 2021.

The survey is open for responses from organisations working in the arts, screen and creative industries, including creative businesses, and from individual artists and creative practitioners.

The results and report have now been published

Creative and Cultural Sector Coronavirus Impact Study РUK  (ongoing)

Collecting data with the ambition to create an independent record of the projects, productions and contracts the sector stands to lose, or have already lost, as a direct result of COVID-19.

Update (October 2020): results from the survey haven’t been published yet, but they have produced a Creative and Cultural Sector Coronavirus Handbook 

Cultural Learning Alliance – (completed)

To understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cultural learning workforce the CLA ran a workforce survey, asking freelancers and colleagues working in organisations to fill in a short survey by the 23 December. 

The first set of results have been gathered and published

They will be running this survey again in April and July 2021 to track any changes to the workforce as a result of the pandemic.

Culture Counts, Scotland – UK (completed)

For organisations and individuals in Scotland’s arts, screen, heritage and creative industries to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the Scottish cultural sector.

Update (October 2020): the results of the initial survey responses were published in March 2020

East 15 School of Acting/University of Essex (ongoing)

A new research project examining the effect of COVID-19 on freelance theatre workers that opened in September 2020.

The research is being carried out in collaboration with experts from Manchester Metropolitan University and Queen’s University Belfast, as well as academics from the University of Essex.

Freelancers wishing to take part in the research should email

Freelancers in the Dark РThe impact of the COVID19 Pandemic on Independent Arts Workers in UK theatre (ongoing)

This ESRC funded research project investigates the social, cultural, and economic consequences of COVID19 on independent arts workers across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Please visit the website for more information. 

The survey should take around 20 minutes to complete and is open until 19 March 2021

Independent Cinema Office – UK (ongoing)

Collating responses from cinema workers and employers to understand the impact of Covid-19 on them.  

Update (October 2020): The results of the initial survey of cinema workers were published in April 2020. The results of a second survey, undated, asking questions about reopening cinemas, has also been published. 

Indigo – Culture Restart Tracker (ongoing)

Update 2: the latest national results for March 2021 have been released 

You can explore all of the released data on their dashboard.

Update: the latest national results for January 2021 have been released.

As part of the Culture Restart Toolkit, they have have three surveys available for any cultural organisations who want to use them to collect more data on their audience and customes:

  1. Audience & Visitor Tracker
  2. Pre and Post-visit Experience surveys
  3. NEW Digital Experience survey

Indigo –¬†Culture Restart Cinema Tracker

As well as the above surveys, Indigo have just released a resource for cinemas,¬†designed to provide ‘a way to understand how your cinema attendees are feeling and help plan for reopening’.

The is not a¬†survey for industry, but is for cinema’s to send out to their previous cinema attendees to¬†keep attendees engaged, track key metrics around intention to attend, assess the appeal of digital content.

KEA European Affairs –¬†The situation of theatres in Europe

 KEA, together with PPMI, is carrying out a study for the European Commission Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture on the situation of theatres in Europe. 

They are collecting data covering different aspects of the theatre sector. The survey is open to Creative Europe Programme countries.

The deadline to respond is 30th April 2021

Liverpool John Moores University/Ryan Clarke:¬†exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Liverpool’s cultural and creative industries (ongoing)

This survey was launched as part of Ryan Clarke’s PhD research,¬†exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Liverpool’s cultural and creative industries.

The survey is aimed at business owners and employees working in the cultural and creative industries in Liverpool.

Manchester Art Gallery (complete)

An audience survey carried out over the summer of 2020 reopening period Рthe results have been published. Among other results, 98% of visitors reported feeling completely safe and 58% said that their visit had given them more confidence to return to other public spaces. As lockdowns and isolation continue, re-socialisation and re-connection becomes an even more pertinent issue.

Res Artis –¬†COVID-19 Survey 2: Medium-term impact on the arts residency sector (completed)

A survey run in partnership with UCL, building on a previous survey from earlier in the year (results have been published as a report), to assess the true impact of COVID-19 specifically on the arts residencies field.

The initial results from the survey have been published

ScreenSkills – Skills and Covid-19 Survey (complete)

ScreenSkills is running a survey to understand thecurrent skills gaps and shortages in the film, TV, VFX, animation and games sectors, and the impact of Covid-19 on working practices and what the industry will look like in the future

They have published the results of their survey plus other research

Somerset Culture (ongoing)

Collecting data about the impact of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sectors in Somerset with additional surveys on the digital capability of visual artists and musicians.

The survey is still live as of March 2021

Sound and Music –¬†COVID-19 Impact Survey (complete)

The purpose of this survey – in partnership with the Ivors Academy – was to gain a comprehensive picture of the impact on composers’ and songwriters’ livelihoods, their creative outputs and future prospects ‚Äď in order to provide tailored support, to raise awareness, lobby for a change in policy, and ensure that all creators are being heard in these incredibly challenging times.

The results and analysis of the data have been published

UK Theatre –¬†One Year On – Impact on Theatre Sector (ongoing)

UK Theatre have just launched this survey (05 March 2021) – the aim is to measure the impact of COVID-19 on the theatre sector over the last year. This is a follow up survey from an early one in the year, and it is vital that if you have completed the first one you also fill out this survey.

The deadline for responding is Thursday 11th March

University Museums Group –¬†Assessing the Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on University Museums¬†(complete)

 A survey undertaken by the UMG committee at the end of April, the data has been gathered and theresults have been published in a report

University of Nottingham / Share My Telly Job / Telly Mums Network -Locked Down and Locked Out? (ongoing)

A survey to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mothers working in the UK Television Industry. The findings will help us understand the particular challenges that mothers are facing, to better inform policy and sector responses, and to help promote a more equitable recovery.

The survey opened on 5th March 2021.

Closed surveys

The Artists Information Company (a-n) РUK (closed)

Collected data from their members on the impact of COVID-19 on the visual arts community. Ran from 20-24th March 2020. Read the final report.

The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) РUK (closed)

Collected data from games industry businesses on the immediate, short-term impacts that the pandemic is having on the industry, how businesses believe it may impact on them in the mid to long-term, and the measures they need from the Government.

Update (October 2020): the data was published as part of¬†the report ‘Playing On’¬†in July 2020

BECTU РUK (closed)

Collected case studies from freelancers who are not covered by the support that has already been announced by the government for self-employed workers, specifically from those who are paid by PAYE and sole traders and Personal Service Companies (PSC).The data used as part of a submission to the Treasury on 30 March 2020  See the results.

British Fashion Council (closed)

Surveyed 99 people about their response to the Government’s provisions for the creative industries in the face of COVID-19. The survey included their designer members, committee ambassadors, colleges council, patrons and partners, retailers and fashion showroom businesses. It opened on 18th March and closed on 21st March, just as the Government announced further measures.

CircusWorks (closed)

Surveyed the youth circus sector on the financial impact of COVID-19.

Update (October 2020): two surveys were conducted in early 2020. The findings have been published in two reports, for the March survey and May survey

Crafts Council РUK (closed)

Collected data from makers to help measure the potential impact facing craft businesses during COVID-19.

Update (October 2020): the findings of a survey carried out early in the pandemic have been published

Create Jobs/Creative Society РUK (closed)

Surveyed young Londoners aged 18-30 and on how they are working, coping and creating during the Covid-19 lockdown. They wanted to know what support young people need and whether those needs are being met.

Update (October 2020): the results of the survey were published in May 2020. They are using the data to improve their support for young people.

Contemporary Visual Arts Network (closed)

Surveyed the freelance visual arts sector to understand the impact of Arts Council England and HM Treasury’s emergency sector support measures on the sector.

Creative Cardiff РWales (closed)

Collected data from 237 self-employed people working in the creative industries in Wales about the impact of Covid-19 on their work. Results include 60% of respondents to the survey saying that their work had dried up completely since the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey ran from 27-30th March 2020. 

Creative Industries Federation РUK (closed)

In March, they surveyed creative organisations to understand the take up of government measures and attitudes towards recovering and reopening post lockdown. 

The Federation also surveyed creative industries businesses and freelancers on their response to COVID-19 and on their predictions for their incomes.

Update (October 2020): both surveys are closed. The initial results from both surveys have been published as part of a report by Oxford Economics, looking at the economic impact of Covid-19 on the creative industries

The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund –¬†UK¬†(closed)

Collected data on the impact of COVID-19 on the heritage sector. Closed 27th March 2020.

Update (November 2020): the results of the survey were published in March 2020

Historic England (closed)

Results from Historic England’s survey on the impact of COVID-19 on heritage organisations and businesses.

Update (November 2020): the results of the survey have been published

Inca Arts/Bridge Group (closed)

A new report examining how inequalities in the arts have been exacerbated during Covid-19, based on qualitative and quantitative research, including a survey with 500 respondents. 

The full paper, that makes clear recommendations for how arts organisations can reduce structural inequalities, was published in November 2020.

Indigo (closed)

Designed to capture how UK and Irish audiences feel about missing live events during lock down, as well as their thoughts about booking and attending in the future.

Update (October 2020): Indigo carried out two surveys and have published the results of both. The first, After the Interval, ran from 16 April Р27 May. The second, Act 2 ran from 1 June Р15 July.

Update (December 2020): Indigo have released the results from Wave 2 of the survey

The Irish Museums Association РThe Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (closed)

Collated information about the impact of Covid-19 on museums in The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including on audiences and lost income.

The Ivors Academy РUK  (closed)

Collected data to help estimate the losses to British music creators of COVID-19 over the next six months. 

Update (October 2020): Results of the survey were published in May 2020

Museum Freelance – (Closed)

This short survey was closed on the 30 November. 

The survey found¬†that 78% of freelancers working in museums have seen a decrease in their income between March – October. On top of this, only 47% were eligible for support through the government’s¬†Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Update (December 2020): Full results of the survey have been published

Music Managers Forum (MMF) РUK (closed)

Collected data to help quantify the losses resulting from COVID-19 on British music makers and their representatives, including musicians, music producers, songwriters, composers, lyricists, music engineers, singers and MMF members.

Update (October 2020): Results of the survey were published in March 2020

The Musicians’ Union РUK (closed)

Collected data to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the work of musicians including financial impact and loss of opportunities.

Music Producers Guild, UK (closed)

Collated views from the music sub-sector to better understand the potential impact of COVID-19 on the sector, including loss of earnings. Closed at 12:00am on 25th March 2020. 

Update (November 2020): thesurvey data has been published, but requires a Basic Membership to view

Network of European Museum Organisations РEurope (closed)

Collected data from European museums to understand how they are dealing with COVID-19.

Update (October 2020): A report, plus the the full set of findings and recommendations, were published in May

The North East Culture Partnership (closed)

Researched the impact of COVID-19 on the arts and heritage sector in the North East to build a picture of key issues faced by the sector.

Update (October 2020): The findings of the survey were published in April

The Publishers Association РUK (closed)

Collated views from publishers to inform the Publishers Association’s response to the ongoing public health crisis and its impact on the publishing industry. Closed at 12:00pm on Wednesday 25th March 2020. 

Res Artis Foundation (closed)

Res Artis partnered with UCL to assess the impact of COVID-19 specifically on the arts residencies field, examining the immediate impact, and the medium-term and long-term effects. 

Update (October 2020): The survey was conducted between May and June, and the report and findings were published in September

Royal Institute of British Architects (closed)

Provides information on the response of 1000 architects, architectural students and others working in the sector to a survey asking about the impact of COVID-19. Results include 81% of respondents saying that they are now working entirely remotely or from home and 45% stating that they have seen a reduction in their individual income. See the results.

ScreenSkills РUK (closed)

Collected data from freelancers in the screen workforce to understand how ScreenSkills might be able to support them with a range of activities.

Update (October 2020): The results of the April survey  of freelancers have been published. ScreenSkills carried out a second survey of employers and hirers in August, that has also been published. 

Society of Authors (closed)

Collected information from authors on income stability, event cancellations, lost income and the impact of government support measures.

TIGA, UK (closed)

Collected data from games businesses to understand the impact on those organisations of COVID-19.

Update (November 2020): the data was published as part of a report in May 2020

UK Comics Creator (closed)

Collected data from UK comics to find ways that creators can be better supported, and to improve access to funding, as well as addressing how COVID-19 is affecting people’s livelihoods and working habits. This was a one off survey, processed by the Audience Agency.

Update (November 2020): the data was published as part of a report in May 2020

The WOW Company (closed)

Assessed the impact of COVID-19 on agencies, as well as explored the strategies that people were implementing to ensure their agencies are in the best possible shape when the crisis is over.

Update (November 2020): The WOW Company carried out two surveys over the Spring and Summer of 2020. The data from both is published on this page.

Other data being collected about UK businesses

Performing Arts COVID-19 sector benchmarks

TRG Arts and Purple Seven have partnered to provide real-time intelligence and advice to the arts and cultural sector on the economic impact of COVID-19 by bringing together live sales feeds from hundreds of venues around the world to provide data analysis, counsel on insights, and intelligence for governments. The service is free and new organisations are welcome to confidentially share their data through a daily feed from their box office to Purple Seven’s secure, UK-based servers.

International surveys

Live surveys

Ad World Masters – global: Collecting data on the effects and expectations of COVID-19 on the agency industry.

Americans for the Arts РUSA 

Collecting information about the financial and human impacts that the spread of  COVID-19 has had on arts and cultural organisations in the USA since January 2020. 

California Arts Field Strategy РUSA 

The California Arts Council is surveying the arts field at-large to gather data on the potential financial impacts of this public health emergency.

Creative British Columbia РBritish Columbia, Canada 

Collecting data to better understand the impact COVID-19 has had on creative industry events and projects across the province. 

Creative Industries Coronavirus Impact Survey РSouth Africa 

Collecting data on the losses on the creative industries in South Africa due to Covid-19.

CreativePH РPhilippines 

For artists, cultural workers, freelance content creators and creative gig workers in the Philippines to provide information on the financial impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods. 

Culture Track, US

A national audience and community research study designed to answer a range of urgent questions about the role and future of culture and the arts in the hearts, minds, families, and social lives of Americans in response to the pandemic.

Ensemble Network, Germany

Surveying the effects of COVID-19 on freelance artists.

European Creative Business Network РEU 

European Creative Business Network (ECBN) is an advocacy institution for the European culture and creative industries. With this survey, they are trying to assess the impact on the sector in the coming weeks in order to be able to formulate current support and relief recommendations to European policymakers. 

HEVA Fund – Rwanda

Collecting information from creative sector practitioners in Rwanda about how their craft, trade, activity, project or business has been affected by Covid-19 to inform measures needed for a sector revival.

League of American Orchestras

The League of American Orchestras are currently collating data on this topic, please get in touch with them for the link to their survey. 

New York City Office of Nightlife – USA

For nightlife workers, freelancers, and businesses in New York City Impacted by COVID-19. 

OBEC – BA, Brazil

OBEC-BA launched a survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on the creative economy, aiming to collect data on the consequences of the pandemic for individuals and organisations working in the artistic, cultural and creative sectors in Brazil. The questionnaire seeks to identify the estimated impact of COVID-19, coping strategies, and previous relations with the public authorities. The research was built to collect data in all states or municipalities or in any sector of the creative economy in Brazil. 

Platform Vereint zusammen, Germany

Surveying the effects of the pandemic on associations in the area of amateur arts and basic cultural work. 

Scenographers, Germany

Surveying the effects of COVID-19 on scenographers.

Complete surveys

Audience outlook monitor – Australia

Initial results from the Audience Outlook Monitor are now available, a new study tracking how audiences feel about attending arts and culture events, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Bratislava

The City of Bratislava has just finished conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on cultural and creative industries in the greater city region. The results will be available by 24th April.

Data SIM – Brazil

Data SIM is the research group and data management hub for the Brazilian music market. This survey collected data from 536 companies from different areas such as festival producers, booking agencies, concert halls, as well as suppliers and partners, ranging from equipment rental to transportation and accommodation logistics. The survey ran from 17th March Р23rd March 2020. 

Director’s Network¬†

Survey on COVID-19 losses. The survey has completed and the results are not yet published. The survey will be repeated in six months.

European Creative Business Network РEU 

The European Creative Business Network has published the results of the first 7000 participants from their survey on the impact of COVID-19. Highlights include a suggestion that cultural and creative businesses in Europe expect to lose a sum of ‚ā¨273 billion in turnover by the end of 2020. The survey ran from mid-March – beginning of April 2020 and the results were published on the 8th April.¬†

German Music Council

Survey on the effects of the pandemic. The survey ran from 6th-31st March and the results are not yet published. 

Kreative Deutschland (Creatives Germany) and Network Promoting Creative Industries Germany

This study looked at the effects of the pandemic on cultural and creative industries in Germany. It was an online survey of more than 6,600 entrepreneurs. Results are published in German.

Regional Association for Performing Arts Berlin

Survey on effects of the pandemic. The survey closed on 13th April and the results are not yet published. 

Shugoll Research, Theatregoers survey – United States

This survey collected data from theatregoers in the Washington D.C. area about their intent to return to the theatre after restrictions were lifted. The survey found that 31% are likely to return immediately with 49% are likely to wait a few months or more.

Statista Research Department – Italy

This survey was conducted in Italy from 26-28th February and from 14-16th March. It collected data from 656 freelancers on whether they had experienced cancellations and suspensions of commissions. Results were published on the 18th March 2020.

Other data being collected internationally

Compendium: cultural policies and trends 

Compendium has asked their expert authors to gather country specific information on the implications of COVID-19 for the cultural sector and the current measures being taken. They have shared the responses received and they are also collecting and curating a page of online, cultural initiatives.

German Music Associations

Report on the economic effects of COVID-19 on the German music industry. 

Umbrella Association Dance Germany

Estimates of economic losses in the area of dance. Results published via their newsletter.

Image via Adobe Stock images.

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