Broadway Show Demographics

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Broadway Audience Comparisons

A direct comparison of audiences who attended Les Miserables, the most recent running of which closed in 2016, to current audiences attending today’s wide variety of musicals is difficult for a variety of reasons including differing economies, differing choices of shows, and the inherent popularity historically or currently of any show. The Broadway League releases information on attendance numbers and grosses from all shows each week, but they do not release weekly audience demographics. A yearly report does outline audience demographics, though not specific to any show (play or musical). Data from the most current yearly analysis has been presented along with data from the 2013-2014 season to provide insight into any overall audience changes. In order to best present a comparison of audience choices in traditional musicals versus musicals with more modern music backgrounds, data from six currently running shows has been analyzed. The traditional show tune type shows (Chicago, Wicked, and Oklahoma!) have been juxtaposed with newer style shows (Hadestown, Ain’t Too Proud, and Beautiful) to give some insight into audience choices, though it should be made clear that these numbers are in no way the full picture of any analysis as newer shows (no matter the type) tend to have higher inherent numbers because of their newness and traditional shows (especially Chicago and Wicked) are typically long-running and well-loved.

2013-2014 AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS

  • The 2013-2014 season saw a total of 8.52 million admissions by tourists in the Broadway theatres, representing 70% of all tickets sold.
  • “Domestic tourists purchased approximately 49% of all Broadway tickets and international tourists, 21%”
  • Females represented 68% of all audiences.
  • “Broadway theatergoers were quite affluent compared to the general United States population, reporting an average annual household income of $201,500.”
  • Of important note for musical attendees, “personal recommendation was the most influential factor in show selection.”
  • Word-of-mouth and Broadway.com are cited as the most popular sources of information on shows.
  • Theatre goers typically purchase tickets an average of 36 days before their selected performance.

2017-2018 AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS

  • According to the most recent study by the Broadway League, the average age of Broadway theatregoers is 40.6. This figure is at its lowest since 2000.
  • Theatre is growing in popularity among kids and teens. Approximately, 2.1 million (the highest ever recorded) people under 18 attended shows during the 2017-2018 season up from 1.65 million in 2016-2017.
  • “Since the 2010-2011 season, the Hispanic/Latino attendance has grown by 61% or 430,000 admissions (from 710,000 to 1.14 million).”
  • In the 2017-2018 season saw “38% of attendances were by people from the New York City metropolitan area.”
  • Further, “63% of admissions were made by tourists: 48% from the United States (but outside New York City and its suburbs) and 15% from other countries.”
  • Similarly, to the demographics in 2013-2014, 66% of the audiences were female.
  • “Of theatregoers age 25 or older, 81% had completed college and 41% had earned a graduate degree.”
  • “The average Broadway theatergoer reported attending 5 shows in the previous 12 months. The group of devoted fans who attended 15 or more performances comprised only 5.5% of the audience, but accounted for 31% of all tickets (4.3 million admissions).”
  • “Approximately 1/3 of responses included some kind of personal recommendation including word-of-mouth, asking friends, or reading posts on social media.”

INSIGHTS FROM THE GEN Z ATTENDEES

  • “The average age of theatregoers has been steadily dropping, with the latest stats indicating 28.2% of Broadway audiences are under 24.”
  • Gen Z theatre fans are drawn to shows they relate to, especially shows like Dear Evan Hansen, The Prom, Be More Chill, Ain’t Too Proud, and Hadestown.
  • “The most notable example of online fan incubation is Be More Chill, a musical that seemed to stall after its brief out-of-town tryout at New Jersey's Two River Theater back in 2015. The creators of the show -- about a geek who becomes popular after ingesting a minuscule supercomputer that tells him how to be cool -- released an original cast album, which was discovered by young musical lovers online. By 2018, it had been streamed more than 170 million times worldwide, and songs like the breakout hit "Michael in the Bathroom" inspired fans to post their own covers, cartoons (known as animatics), lip-sync videos, even an American Sign Language interpretation.”
  • Gen Z is drawn most by community, connection and authenticity.

ATTENDANCE FIGURES

Week Ending 7/28/19
Tickets Sold: 7445
Percentage of Capacity: 101%
Average Ticket Price: $180.60
Week Ending 6/30/19
Tickets Sold: 7442
Percentage of Capacity: 101%
Average Ticket Price: $175.80
Week Ending 3/31/19
Tickets Sold: 7192
Percentage of Capacity: 97.9%
Average Ticket Price: $102.18
Week Ending 7/28/19
Tickets Sold: 11,366
Percentage of Capacity: 99.7%
Average Ticket Price: $134.30
Week Ending 6/30/19
Tickets Sold: 11,352
Percentage of Capacity: 99.7%
Average Ticket Price: $137.88
Week Ending 3/31/19
Tickets Sold: 11,176
Percentage of Capacity: 98.10%
Average Ticket Price: $119.01
Week Ending 7/28/19
Tickets Sold: 6,053
Percentage of Capacity: 73.75%
Average Ticket Price: $85.90
Week Ending 6/30/19
Tickets Sold: 5,555
Percentage of Capacity: 67.7%
Average Ticket Price: $92.07
Week Ending 3/31/19
Tickets Sold: 6,370
Percentage of Capacity: 77.6%
Average Ticket Price: $92.77
Week Ending 7/28/19
Tickets Sold: 7,796
Percentage of Capacity: 90.2%
Average Ticket Price: $85.33
Week Ending 6/30/19
Tickets Sold: 6,484
Percentage of Capacity: 75.1%
Average Ticket Price: $85.12
Week Ending 3/31/19
Tickets Sold: 7,132
Percentage of Capacity: 82.6%
Average Ticket Price: $83.04
Week Ending 7/28/19
Tickets Sold: 16,334
Percentage of Capacity: 97.6%
Average Ticket Price: $127.13
Week Ending 6/30/19
Tickets Sold: 14,901
Percentage of Capacity: 99.77%
Average Ticket Price: $126.44
Week Ending 3/31/19
Tickets Sold: 15,377
Percentage of Capacity: 99.8%
Average Ticket Price: $125.25
Week Ending 7/28/19
Tickets Sold: 4,905
Percentage of Capacity: 94.2%
Average Ticket Price: $114.15
Week Ending 6/30/19
Tickets Sold: 4,860
Percentage of Capacity: 93.3%
Average Ticket Price: $120.73
Week Ending 3/31/19
Tickets Sold: 5,258
Percentage of Capacity: 101.4%
Average Ticket Price: $102.18
Week Ending 7/31/16
Tickets Sold: 10,834
Percentage of Capacity: 96.1%
Average Ticket Price: $87.43
Week Ending 6/26/16
Tickets Sold: 10,581
Percentage of Capacity: 93.9%
Average Ticket Price: $85.06
Week Ending 3/27/16
Tickets Sold: 11,052
Percentage of Capacity: 98.1%
Average Ticket Price: $91.90
Sources
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