The Broadway League published its annual report on The Demographics of the Broadway Audience. Below are highlights and comments from the Executive Summary. Interesting and informative information for anyone interested in the theater business.
- 63% of the Broadway tickets were purchased by tourists.
- In line with previous decades, 66% of the audience was female.
- Average age of the Broadway theatergoer was older than previous seasons at 47.9 years.
- Caucasians bought 75% of tickets, Asians bought 6.1% (30% higher than the previous season) African-Americans bought 3.5% (higher than last season but still below the peak years of '05'08 when The Color Purple was on Broadway)
- 77% of theatergoers 25 or older had a college degree and 39$ had earned a graduate degree.
- Average reported annual household income was $200,700
- The average theatergoer attended 4.5 shows over 12 months. While only 6% of theatergoers attended 15 or more shows they accounted for 31% of all tickets (3.7 million admissions).
- Playgoers attended 7 shows during the past year while musicalgoers attended 5 shows.
- 34% of respondents bought their tickets on line.
- The most popular sources for theatre information were Broadway.com, The NY Times and word-of-mouth(WOM).
- 69% of the purchasing decisions were made by women.
- For musicals, 46% of audience members cited WOM as the most influential factor in deciding to attend the show while 23% cited critics' reviews. Fo plays, 31% cited WOM and 32% cited critics' reviews.
- Advertising was cited as an influence in the purchase decision as well.
- 72% of the Broadway audience said that some kind of incentive(discounts, freebies, add-ons) would encourage them to attend shows more often.
To me the numbers are not very surprising or different from other years. The biggest thing I noticed here is the last bullet point. An overwhelming number of our audience is willing to come back to Broadway if we can incentivize them in some way. With Broadway now feeling the pinch of the recession it is clear that the audience is looking for value in their purchasing decisions. Shows will not have to find ways to encourage ticket buying without eroding the pricing of tickets.