Who sees Broadway shows on the road anyway?

The annual Broadway League report that details the demographics and habits of the audience of Broadway shows around the country was released last week.

And, I’ve got the skinny.

Audiences at over twenty theaters from LA to Boston and several in between were asked a bunch of questions, and then the data was crunched and spit out for us to analyze, and use to our advantage as we develop and market product in the future.

And if we don’t use it, then it’s totally WITHOUT value.  Information that isn’t used, is like an unloaded weapon in the middle of a war; it makes you looks like you know what you’re doing, but at the first sign of trouble, you’re dead meat.

Now that I’ve shot off that depressing simile, here are the highlights from the Executive Summary of the report.

Ready?

  • In the 2009-2010 season, there were nearly 16 million attendances to Broadway touring shows across North America.
  • Seventy-two percent of attendees were female.
  • The average age of the Touring Broadway theatregoer was 53.8 years old.
  • The vast majority of theatregoers were Caucasian.
  • Seventy-four percent of the audience held a college degree and 31% held a graduate degree.
  • Forty-six percent of national theatregoers reported an annual household income of more than $100,000, compared to only 20% of Americans overall.
  • Thirty-six percent of respondents were subscribers to the “Broadway Series” at their local venue.
  • On average, Touring Broadway attendees saw 4.4 shows per year.
  • Women continued to be more likely than men to make the decision to purchase tickets to the show.
  • Nearly two-thirds of audiences looked to the theatre’s website to find information about the show.
  • Other than being included in the subscription, personal recommendation was the most influential source for show selection.
  • The Tony Awards® were also reported to be more influential this season than in previous seasons. Eighteen percent of respondents said that Tony Awards® or nominations were a reason they attended the show, compared to 14% in the 2007-2008 and 8% in the 2005-2006 season. Furthermore, 8% responded that seeing a scene of the show on the Tony® telecast encouraged them to attend the show, compared to 4% in previous years.
  • Advertising was less influential than it had been in the past, but noted forms were print ads, television commercials, and internet ads.
  • Thirty-five percent of Touring Broadway theatregoers used the Internet to purchase their tickets, up from 26% in the 2008-2009 season.
  • Advance sales to single-ticket buyers has increased in comparison to the past several years.
  • Most Touring Broadway theatregoers attended in small groups of family or friends.
  • Sixty-two percent of the audience said that some kind of incentive (discounts for restaurants, parking and transportation, free merchandise, backstage tours, or complete packages) would encourage them to attend theatre more frequently.
  • Facebook was the most widely used social networking site.
  • The vast majority of Touring Broadway theatregoers arrived at the venue by personal car.
  • Besides theatre, moviegoing was by far the most popular leisure activity.
  • Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they made a visit to New York City in the past year.
  • Seventy-one percent of respondents said that different performance times would not make a difference in encouraging them to attend Touring Broadway more frequently.
  • Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they would prefer to receive theatre information electronically, rather than via postal mail.

The complete report is over 60 pages and can be ordered here.

 

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How much does touring Broadway impact the economy.

Another interesting annual report from the Broadway League was released yesterday, and it has nothing with Broadway in NYC.

This report details the economic impact that Broadway had on the nation in 2008-2009 by exporting its productions from Times Square to Tennessee, Florida, California, and just about everywhere in between.  Yep, Broadway truly is the longest street in the US.  We’re all a lot closer than we think.

To quote the study, “the goal of this analysis is to quantify the impact of Touring Broadway to the metropolitan areas surrounding the cities that presented shows, and the economic contribution of the Touring Broadway industry overall.”

Here are the stats from the Executive Summary:

  • In the 2008-2009 season, there were approximately 40 Broadway touring shows traveling across the country playing in 192 venues.
  • Producers and presenters spent $807.2 million to produce and run these tours in the places that presented them or in New York City.
  • Moreover, theatregoers who came to an area specifically to attend shows spent another $687.2 million on ancillary activities such as dining and transportation.
  • Thus the total direct spending due to Touring Broadway amounted to $1.49 billion.
  • This money then generated another $1.86 billion in secondary rounds of spending so that the full economic contribution of Touring Broadway totaled $3.35 billion.
  • Eight-seven percent of this money ($2.9 billion) supported the communities that presented Broadway tours.  Another $425.8 million impacted New York City.
  • On average, Broadway tours visiting cities contributed an economic impact of 3.5 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area’s economy.

To get a copy of the complete report, visit the Broadway League.

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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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