About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Digital Culture 2019

Digital Culture 2019 is a study on the impact and use of technology in the arts and culture sector, from Arts Council England and Nesta.

Key findings

  • More organisations report that digital technology is important to their business models now than in 2013 (49 per cent say it is essential or important in 2019, compared to 35 per cent in 2013).
  • Findings suggest that digital technology is not having a greater positive impact on audience development objectives than in previous years.
  • Organisations are becoming less experimental and more risk-averse in their approach to digital technologies. Overall, there has been a downward trend in R&D behaviours.
  • The proportion of organisations that agree that their senior management are knowledgeable about digital technology has fallen from 22 per cent in 2013 to 13 per cent in 2019.
  • There is a growing disparity between large and small organisations’ ability to create an impact with digital technology in a number of areas, including data use and business modelling.

Technology has impacted creative work and its associated industries in different ways. Digital Culture, a major longitudinal study of arts and cultural organisations' use of technology in England, charts trends in this area over 2013-2019. It looks at how organisations use digital technology in different ways, and the associated opportunities, impacts and challenges they experience.

The study provides detailed insight on digital for arts and cultural organisations to affect change within their own work, along with an in-depth analysis of the major trends to guide policymakers and sector support organisations. The report builds on previously published work in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Browse the results by artform.


Shoubhik Bandopadhyay

Shoubhik Bandopadhyay

Shoubhik Bandopadhyay

Insights Manager, Arts and Culture Finance team

Shoubhik produced primary and secondary research to help the team and its partners better understand the impact of their work and identify opportunities for future development

View profile