According to Arts and Entertainment Infozine: People who participate in the arts through electronic media are nearly three times as likely to attend live benchmark arts events as non-media participants.
What does this mean?
Well, in the States, The National Endowment for the Arts did a survey in 2008 called the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA). The survey measured demographic characteristics of U.S. adults that participated in the arts (such as concerts, plays, and dance performances) via electronic media (e.g., TV, radio, computers and portable media devices). It also looked at how people participate in the arts using their computers. The final result is called Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation.
The findings are very interesting: basically, American adults who participated in arts via thier computers (by, say, looking at paintings on line, or downloading and listening to audio books) were much more likely to attend live art events.
I guess this makes sense: if someone is interested in the arts, they will participate in it however they can. But I think we constantly live in the fear that, if we put our work out there, no one will want to pay us for it. No one will want to see it live.
This appears to not be the case.
Arts participation through the media does not appear to “replace” live arts attendance, personal arts performance, or arts creation. In fact, arts engagement through media is associated with higher rates of participation in those activities.
–Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation
Okay, so this is an American survey, but still, pretty interesting stuff.
Download and read the multi-media survey yourself: Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation
Source: How Americans Use Electronic Media to Participate in the Arts