Exactly who goes to Broadway TOURING shows anyway? Survey says . . .

Back in Feb., I posted a summary of the Broadway League’s annual survey of the Broadway audience.  Well guess, what?  The League also surveys touring audiences in their member theaters all over the country.

And guess what?  I’m going to summarize those results for you here:
  • In the 2007-2008 season, 15.3 million tickets were to sold.  This number has been declining for the last six years.
  • 70% of the tickets sold were purchased by women.
  • Average of of the theatergoer was 50 years old.
  • The vast majority of the theatergoers were Caucasian.
  • 73% of the audience held a college degree and 32% held a graduate degree.
  • 43% of the audience reported an annual income of more than $100,000.
  • 44% were “subscribers” to the local Broadway Series.
  • The average theatergoer saw 6 shows per season.
  • Local newspaper was still the primary source of information, but 40% of the audience looked online at the venue’s website for information.
  • The internet has surpassed phone sales and is now the most popular way to purchase tickets.
  • Single-ticket buyers (non-subscribers), generally bought their tickets a few weeks prior to a performance.
  • Personal recommendation was the most influential source for show selection (other than simply being included in the subscription series).
  • Television commercials were the most noted form of advertising.
  • 27% of the audience also attended a Broadway show in New York City.
So why are these numbers important to the NY producer?
Look at that last bullet point:
27% of the audience seeing shows at theaters across the country came to Broadway to see a show as well.  27% of 15.3 million is over 4.1 million people.  Last season, Broadway only had 12.1 million attendees.  That means that about 35% of our audience, or more than 1/3 is coming from these theaters.
Our relationship with the touring houses is a significant one (which is why the road presenter is a part of the Broaday League in the first place).  The touring audience is a stream that represents more than 1/3 of our audience here on Broadway, and the theaters where they see shows in their hometown is like a dam.
If that dam gets clogged up, and it looks like it has been for the last 6 years, then you’re going to hear a lot of producers (and the mayor of NYC) using the word “damn.”
Thanks to the League for their continued excellent quantitative analysis of what’s happening here in NYC and all over the country.
Now, if only we could survey the international tourist in their hometowns, since they represent another 16% of our Broadway audience.
Comments
  • An international tourist survey would be interesting to see, I agree. Question to a producer concerning the statement that non-subscribers bought their tickets generally a few weeks ahead of time: as a NYC producer is this information pertinent pertaining to advance sales or is there another angle you look at this?

  • Alli Houseworth says:

    I want to know what % of that 27% attended a Broadway show last year for the first time. That data doesn’t exist does it…?

  • Esther says:

    Hmmm, it’s interesting. I wonder if something happened six years ago – if the kinds of shows on tour changed, became less appealing?
    I don’t live in New York but I do go there several times a year to see theatre, both on and off Broadway, and I also go to the touring productions in the city where I live.
    One thing I’ve noticed in the past couple of years is that the ticket prices on tour for the best seats are way north of $100. It’s still cheaper than Broadway but it’s not cheap.
    Also, it seems that you’re getting some of the same shows returning year after year. Maybe the market isn’t there.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

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