Entertainment Spending - Boston

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Entertainment Spending in Boston

No data currently exists to identify the entertainment spending of different demographics of the Boston area. However, it is possible to determine what Boston entertainment tickets cost, and what some venues are doing to attract demographic segments that the venues currently lack. Here are some findings that may help to describe the current status of the Boston entertainment market, including Boston demographics, selected costs of museums and other attractions, and efforts of entertainment venues to attract particular demographics.

Most Recent Demographic Profile of Boston's ethnic groups

Snapshot of Entertainment Costs

  • According to information collected from 175 people in 2019, in Boston a basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub cost an average of $55. Two tickets to the movies cost $27.
  • Two tickets to the theater (the best available seats) cost $282. Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant including appetizers, main course, wine and dessert cost $107.
  • A person could buy one cocktail drink in a downtown Boston club for $14. One beer in neighborhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) was $6.
  • "The Leisure, Hospitality, and Tourism (LHT) industry is large, stable, and growing. It is the third-largest industry in the Commonwealth," according to The Boston Foundation.

Selected Museum Fees and Demographics in Boston

  • Adults pay $25 per ticket for entrance to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and $27 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Selected Other Entertainment Costs in Boston

  • Subscriptions to the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) for from 2 to 25 concerts start at $165 and extend to $1,700 or more.
  • The BSO is trying to attract younger audiences. In 2016, nearly 30 percent of BSO attendees were under age 40, indicating that the orchestra was successful in marketing itself to younger people. The symphony’s growth in youthful attendance was a result of some “aggressive pricing strategies”, including college cards and the ‘20under40’ program which offers $20 seats on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the symphony's managing director.
  • The Huntington Theatre Company was successful in 2016 "with 35 Below, a membership program that offers $30 tickets to any show, access to mix-and-mingle events after selected performances and exclusive invitations to other events. In its first year, the company sold seats to 7,600 patrons, or 8.8 percent of the 2010–'11 season audience." By April 2016, the company had sold 15,300 tickets to people under 35.
  • According to the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, in 2017, travelers from overseas to Boston spent an average of $261 per night in hotels.
  • New England Aquarium's adult ticket price was $27.95 in 2017, while Paul Revere House in Boston charges the lowest adult admission fee of $5.
  • Live theatre ticket prices currently in Boston include "Murder on the Orient Express", starting at $49; "A Christmas Carol", starting at $60; "We all Fall Down", starting at $75; Boston Pops, starting at $75; Celtic Sojourn, starting at $75; Martha and the Vandellas, $80.

Research Strategy

We were unable to provide an answer to the request for information about spending on entertainment by different demographics in Boston. We searched Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure reports, but they do not break out entertainment spending by demography. Next, we read reports from the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Boston University Archives on hospitality expenditures. Third, we performed searches using "Leisure, Hospitality, and Tourism" as well as "Boston Entertainment Expenditure Statistics" and related keywords. We checked Travel and Leisure's website, Travel and Tourism statistics, the Boston Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment, Massachusetts vacation statistics by county, international tourism spending in Boston, and the websites of individual venues including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Fine Arts, and many others. In none of these sources did we find any study of spending habits of demographic segments — not even women vs. men.
Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "Data in this release are from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), which the U.S. Census Bureau conducts for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data in this release were averaged over a 2-year period, 2015 and 2016."
  • "Entertainment expense in Boston 5.1% of their average expenses, which were $68,119*"
  • "Consumer units in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metropolitan area spent an average of $68,119 per year in 2015-16, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown, noted that this figure was over 20 percent above the $56,648 average expenditure level for a typical household in the United States. "
Quotes
  • "Population 625,087 Population growth from 2010 to 2011 1.20% Percent women 52.10% Ratio of unmarried men to women 93 / 100 Percent population with Bachelor's degree 42.80% Diversity rating 56 - Moderately diverse Percent foreign born 27.10% Median age 30.8"
  • "The median salary in Boston, MA is: $51,739 Boston, MA is the 11th most expensive city of database of 268 cities"
  • "Ethnicity. 47% white, 17.5% Latino, 24.4% black, 8.9% Asian, other "
Quotes
  • "Entertainment [Edit] Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub $55 2 tickets to the movies $27 2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) $282 Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert $107 1 cocktail drink in downtown club $14 1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) $6 1 package of Marlboro cigarettes $11 These prices are based on abundant and consistent data. They are very reliable. They are based on 875 prices entered by 175 different people. Latest price update: December 21, 2019 "
Quotes
  • "The Leisure, Hospitality, and Tourism (LHT) industry is large, stable, and growing. It is the third-largest industry in the Commonwealth,"
  • "The industry itself is surprisingly difficult to define; while the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other federal agencies formally define the Leisure and Hospitality “supersector” using the North American Industrial Classification System1(NAICS) codes for Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (code 71) and Accommodation & Food Services (code 72),2 research studies usually include additional data that capture other tourism-related activity."
Quotes
  • "Take the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). At a time when orchestra audiences nationwide are growing smaller and grayer, nearly 30 percent of BSO concertgoers this season have been under the age of 40. "
  • "The price of admission to theaters, concert halls and museums is going up, while less expensive and increasingly sophisticated alternatives — like “Live in HD” movie theater screenings of top-tier opera, theater and dance performances, not to mention must-see movies and binge-worthy TV — proliferate."
  • "BSO managing director Mark Volpe is quick to point out that the symphony’s extraordinary growth in youthful attendance came about as a result of some “aggressive pricing strategies” aimed not only at attracting but keeping young attendees. In any given year we’re selling thousands of tickets to people under 40 through college cards and the ‘20under40’ program,” which offers $20 seats on a first-come, first-served basis, Volpe said"
  • "The BSO has launched a suite of special programs to encourage those concertgoers to come back, including a Casual Fridays series of dress-as-you-will events. These cost between $25 and $45 and include live music before and after the main program, plus an invitation to use BSO-supplied iPads in a designated seating section."
  • "The Huntington [Theatre Company] has also seen considerable success with 35 Below, a membership program that offers $30 tickets to any show, access to mix-and-mingle events after selected performances and exclusive invitations to other events. In its first year, the company sold seats to 7,600 patrons, or 8.8 percent of the 2010–'11 season audience. By early April this year, the company had already sold 15,300 tickets to patrons under 35. "
Quotes
  • "The target market for Boston and Cambridge is college graduates, many with advanced degrees, holding management positions, with overall Family Household Income in excess of $150,000. The drive market is very strong with interest from New York, Canada and the rest of New England. Research indicates the younger target markets are willing to forgo amenities to focus on the overall experience of a destination. They aren’t coming to Boston to just see the history, they want to experience and take part in it. The older millennials with young families, as well as empty nesters,value the comfort of a hotel experience according to research reports."
  • "Chinese visitors to the Boston MSA have grown dramatically over a 10-year and 5-year window.Over the past decade, from 2007 to 2017, visitors from China to Boston grew by over 870%, and since 2013 they have grown by nearly 200%.Based upon a recent Marketing IntelligenceReport forBrandUSA for the period August 2017-July 2018, passengers from China to Boston grew at 13%, the fastest of all US cities. "
  • "In 2017, travelers from overseas to Boston spent an average of $261 per night in hotels."
Quotes
  • "In 2015, according to the MFA [Museum of Fine Arts], 67 percent of visitors were female, 75 percent were 45 or older and 79 percent identified as Caucasian. Teitelbaum said many of the strategic plan’s more than 50 new initiatives are designed to change those numbers through the lens of art."
Quotes
  • "The top 20 most visited nonprofit museums in Massachusetts in 2016 saw attendance increase 4% over the prior year. Boston's New England Aquarium was the top drawing museum in 2017, attracting 1,418,949 visitors, up 1.8% over attendance in 2016. Ranked number two in 2017 was Boston's Museum of Science (MOS), which attracted 1,381,490 visitors, down 1.2% from 2016, during which it attracted 1,397,642 visitors, the most of any nonprofit Massachusetts museum that year. Admission prices didn't seem to deter or spur attendance. New England Aquarium has a set adult admission price of $27.95 (on par with MOS's $28, the highest adult admission price of the 20 museums) and saw attendance increase in 2017, while Paul Revere House in Boston, which continued to charge the lowest set adult admission fee of $5, saw attendance drop 2.4% last year to 309,885 visitors. "
Quotes
  • "Museums continue to struggle with how to attract younger and diverse audiences while maintaining and enacting high admissions fees. Adults pay $25 at the Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, MFA and $27 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I"
  • " Art museums around the country are struggling mightily to make themselves appealing to millennials and to what we now call “diverse” audiences by creating their own apps, as well as by acquiring and exhibiting contemporary art, as well as art by women, latinos, Africans, Asians and whomever else. However, their goals will continue to be checked by the barrier of high admissions fees; they cannot build new audiences if those audiences are only likely to come on the first Friday of the month between six and nine p.m. or whenever they make the place less expensive to enter."
Quotes
  • "Boston Museum of Science tickets: $29 adult, $24 child, $25 senior."
Quotes
  • "Ticket prices currently in Boston: Murder on the Orient Express, starting at $49; A christmas carol, starting at $60; We all Fall down, starting at $75; Boston Pops, starting at $75; Celtic Sojourn, starting at $75; Martha and the Vandellas, $80."
Quotes
  • "Exhibit Halls and BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life Adult: $37 Child: $33 Senior: $32"
Quotes
  • "Season tickets for from 2 to 25 performances start at $165 and extend to $1,700 or more."