The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2018-2019

One of the many great services of the Broadway League is the demographic survey they do of our audience.

It’s essential for any industry or business to find out who its customers are in order to . . .

  1. Tailor our marketing dollars towards the people who are coming to make our advertising more efficient.
  2. Find out who is NOT coming, so we can make concerted efforts to get them TO come.

The future of our industry and our art depends on the above, which is why these surveys are so important, and why I summarize them for you here.

Here are the top-level bullet points from this year’s demographic survey of the Broadway Audience:

  • In the 2018–2019 season, Broadway shows welcomed 14.8 million admissions, an all-time high.
  • Approximately 35% of those attendances were by people from the New York City metropolitan area.
  • Sixty-five percent of admissions were made by tourists: 46% from the United States (but outside New York City and its suburbs) and 19% from other countries.
  • This represents the highest number of attendances by foreign visitors in history— 2.8 million.
  • Sixty-eight percent of the audiences were female.
  • The average age of the Broadway theatregoer was 42.3 years old. This average has hovered between 40 and 45 years old for the past two decades.
  • Along with the overall growth in attendance, the number of admissions by non-Caucasian theatregoers reached a record high of 3.8 million.
  • Of theatregoers age 25 or older, 81% had completed college and 41% had earned a graduate degree.
  • The average annual household income of the Broadway theatregoer was $261,000.
  • The average number of attendances by the Broadway theatregoer was 4.4 in the past year. The group of devoted fans who attended 15 or more performances comprised only 5% of the audience, but accounted for 28% of all tickets (4.15 million admissions).
  • Playgoers tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical straight-play attendee saw seven shows in the past year; the musical attendee, four.
  • Respondents reported having paid an average of $145.60 per ticket.
  • Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they purchased their tickets online.
  • The average reported date of ticket purchase for a Broadway show was 47 days before the performance, four days more than the previous season.
  • Google was the most common initial source theatregoers named when they were asked where they looked for information about Broadway shows. Ticketmaster and Broadway.com followed Google.
  • Twenty-two percent said that they relied primarily on word-of-mouth from people they knew.
  • Most theatregoers attended in pairs or small groups of family or friends.
  • The vast majority of current theatregoers had some connection to theatregoing as a child.

 

Want your copy of the full report (which goes into MUCH more detail than the above?  Click here.)

We ask again: Why Do Some Broadway Ticket Buyers Show Up At The Theater So Early?

Broadway Producers and Marketers are constantly wondering what makes our audiences member tick . . .and buy tick-ets.

What we often forget is that something like 40,000 of our customers walk through Times Square almost every day, steps away from our offices, and they’re just waiting for us to ask them questions.

So, from time to time, when I’ve got a question burning in my craw (what does that even mean?), that’s exactly what I do.

In this case, the question was . . . Why do some (and so many) theatergoers get to the theater so early . . . so early that they have to line up outside the theater, because the doors aren’t open yet?!  You’ve seen this phenomenon, right?  Just walk by the Majestic Theater on 44th St on a Wednesday at 1 PM, and see how many folks are in line for the 2 PM show.  I mean, that’s early!  And we don’t even have movie-like previews!

(Side note: these long lines are huge security challenges for our theaters and our city – I’ll let you think about why.)

Last winter, I sent a team of interns TO those lines to ask folks what got them to queue up so dang early, but since it was like 8 degrees out, I thought the answers might have been a bit skewed.  So, I sent a new team of interns out this summer to collect more data . . . and we aggregated the results for you here!

So, below, please see the results of our survey.

What excites me about it is the responses; the desire for audience members to take in the entire Broadway experience (which means maybe we should add “previews” or something of extra value before the show begins) as well as the FOMO answer (because it means that seeing a show is still an event – even if they don’t dress up for it anymore!).

What trends do you see in the below?  And do you get to the theater early?

Check out these numbers!

Want to see all the details of polls for winter? Check out this link!

Who is the Broadway Investor? The Infographic. Finally!

I’ll admit it.  I’m obsessed with infographics.  I like reading ’em.  And I like making ’em.  Ok, truth time, I like telling my Assistant, Dylan, to make them.  🙂

Since I got addicted, we’ve made some really cool IGs (that’s how us cool people who make their Assistants make infographics refer to them, BTW).  There was the one about Tony Award winners.  There was the one about recouped musicals.

And then there was the one about the makeup of the typical Broadway Investor.

Wait a minute.  We didn’t do that one!  Newman!

But it’s not too late, right?  No!  It’s never too late.  I just read Vera Wang didn’t enter into the fashion industry until she was 40.  Rodney Dangerfield broke through at age 46.  And good ol’ Colonel Sanders didn’t start frying chicken until he was 62.  So it’s certainly not too late to post an infographic!

A year ago we announced the results of the first ever Broadway Investor survey.  But go ahead, look at it.  The results looked so boring.  So non-info-graphic-y.

Not anymore!

Below is our Broadway Investor infographic.  Use it to help focus your search for investors for your show.

Investor Demogaphics (2)

P.S.  I’ll bet this post gets more views and shares than the previous post with the same information, just presented differently.  Remember that when you’re trying to get something out into the world.

And stay tuned for more Infographics.  I’m keeping Dylan busy this summer.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

– – – – –

FUN STUFF:

– 2 days left to enter my Tony Pool for the chance to win an Apple Watch!  Click here.

– Listen to Podcast Episode 22 with Broadway Producer, Kevin McCollum!  Click here.

– Win 2 tickets to Clinton The Musical Off Broadway! Click here.

What did you think about this year’s Tony Awards? Survey says . . .

As we’ve done for the last several years, the morning after The Tony Awards, we put together a survey to find out what you, the passionate Broadway lover, thought about the Tony Awards telecast.

A week and a ton of passionate responses later, and the results are in.

Here’s what you thought of the 2014 Tony Awards Telecast:

Tony Pool Winner Announced! And how did me, you, and our Psychic do?

Okey dokey smokey, the accounting firm of the Davenport Theatrical Interns has finished their audit of our Tony Pool entries and they have selected a winner.

But first,

How did I do?

Eh.

I matched my performance of last year, getting 18 out of 26 right or a sub par 69.2%.

How did the overall majority of you readers do?  Much better.

The majority choices scored a good solid “B” with calling 84.6% of the winners (whenever I belly up to the Blog Bar, I’m always bragging about how my readers are smarter than everyone else’s).

How did our resident psychic Miss Rose do?

There must have been too many microwaves goin’ that day because she scored a dismal 34.6%.  Yikes, Miss Rose.  Yikes.  You gotta put down the ball and get out to see more shows!  Or, frankly, just guess better!

And now, who won?  Which one of you got the most right and is walking home with a $500 Telecharge gift card???

The winner is  . . .

Well, it’s not that easy.

There was a FOURTEEN way tie for first place!  Wowza!

14 of you successfully predicted 22 out of the 26 correct.

Unfortunately one of you didn’t follow the rules, so you had to be disqualified.  (Wah-wah.)

And that means 13 went on to the tie-breaker.

And the one person who emerged victorious is . . .

ROBERT HOFFMAN!

Come on down, Robert Hoffman!  You won the $500 and the honor of being the best Tony picker in town!

Email me and we’ll get you your prize.

Now, who wants to start handicapping next year’s race?  Hmmmm???  Anyone givin’ odds on the Sting musical to win?

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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