How audience insights helped a world-famous opera house succeed in the digital age

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About Bayerische Staatsoper

Bayerische Staatsoper is Germany's largest opera house and one of Europe’s most celebrated theaters.


The Challenge

Bayerische Staatsoper’s main desire was to attract a more diverse crowd. In September 2021, the focus of the opera house shifted toward digitization and innovation.

Both culturally and artistically, the opera represents an institution that has no equal. But there’s no denying the perception of opera-goers represent an “older” and wealthier demographic.

Bayerische Staatsoper’s goal was two-fold: to increase the opera house's social relevance and reach a broader segment of society.

Although the company already had processes in place to collect customer information, it needed a more holistic and comprehensive approach to analyzing it. Specifically, they needed a way to take their existing audience data and translate it into insights for reaching younger opera-goers and non-visitors.

The Solution

The company decided to take both a qualitative and quantitative approach to the campaign. Specifically, Bayerische Staatsoper assembled a team of opera experts and data scientists and picked their analytics tools to put their plans into action. The steps they took included:

  • Looking at past attendee data and interviewing opera stakeholders to determine how to approach their new audience
  • Conducting audience analysis and creating segments based on affinities and social listening
  • Interpreting data to understand opportunities and overlap between their existing audience and their new/diverse audience

In short, Bayerische Staatsoper began with a broad, big-picture mission and created its own research framework to figure out how to reach its target audience. Below is a breakdown of how they did it:

  1. Assess current customer data and gather expert insights to guide research
  2. Research affinities, interests and topics relevant to the desired audience
  3. Analyze existing and new audience segments to uncover opportunities

The Results

The goal of the project was to identify key topics that would speak to younger, more diverse audiences, which is a segment that opera at present struggles with and traditionally is unable to reach.

Bayerische Staatsoper managed to address a number of relevant topics throughout their recent opera premiers, with productions covering themes including:

  • individuality
  • normality
  • sustainability
  • diversity
  • minority

Although revenue wasn’t the driving motivator behind the project, the opera house still boosted sales throughout this campaign. This was achieved through digital ads that spoke to the company’s audience research — this resulted in a significant increase in ticket sales and a consistently near-sold-out house.


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How audience insights helped a world-famous opera house succeed in the digital age
“Probably the main success factor of the campaign was the high quality of both methodology and data-driven research we utilized. This included the use of large data samples, often containing millions of data points, across multiple data sources in order to cross-validate all of our results. Audiense helped us generate a deep-dive into all of the individual segments of the existing as well as the new audiences we tried to identify and then better understand.”
Kathrin Zeitler

Kathrin Zeitler
Head of Digital Strategy | Bayerische Staatsoper

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