Women Still Majority of Theatregoers, Day-of & Internet Sales Rise, Ethnic Attendance Up Per League Demographics

News   Women Still Majority of Theatregoers, Day-of & Internet Sales Rise, Ethnic Attendance Up Per League Demographics
 
In May The League of American Theatres and Producers announced that the 2005-2006 Broadway season saw more than 12 million visitors. Now the organization has revealed the findings of its latest annual demographics report.

"The Demographics of the Broadway Audience" — published annually by The League — is used to relay information on the business, demographics and economic impact of Broadway theatre throughout North America.  Printed versions of the reports issued are available for purchase online at livebroadway.com/orderform.html.

"Every year, The League undertakes a new chapter in its ongoing longitudinal tracking study of the Broadway audience in New York," stated League executive director Charlotte St. Martin. "In the latest report, we are particularly pleased to highlight that tourism continues to be trending upwards, comprising 57% of the 12 million tickets sold last season. Significantly, our efforts to bring back foreign tourists, who are a vital part of the Broadway audience, and contribute significantly to the city's economy as a whole, have yielded great results, bouncing back to pre 9/11 levels."

The report is based on the data collected from surveys administered by the League’s Research Department from June 2005-June 2006 (at 24 different productions at 71 individual performance times).  Selected on a quarterly basis, shows represent a variety of Broadway offerings ("i.e., a proportionate number of musicals versus straight plays; revivals versus original works; and new productions versus long-running shows"). Surveys are distributed at multiple performances per show to account for variances in the weekday, weekend, evening and matinee audiences. In total, 12,425 questionnaires were distributed and 6,174 returned.

Among the findings published from "The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2005-2006" are:

  • Attendance by international visitors climbed to 1.32 million (doubling the post-9/11 low of 525,834 for the 2001-2002 season)
  • Attendance by New Yorkers increased to 2.29 million (from 2.05 million in the 2004-2005 season)
  • Domestic tourist figures consist of 43.4% (5.47 million) of the tickets sold
  • The majority of the Broadway theatergoing audience continued to be Caucasian (77.3%)
  • 2.72 million attendances were by non-Caucasian ethnic groups (the highest number in the past seven seasons — a 6% increase from the 2004-2005 season and a 34% increase from the 2001-2002 season)
  • The use of the Internet was the most popular method of ticket buying (quintupling over the last five years, from 7% to 32%)
  • Theatregoers are still not purchasing as far in advance as they did before Sept. 11 (27% of theatregoers purchased their tickets on the day of the performance — the highest in six years)
  • Repeat customers continued level with the past several seasons (the average theatregoer attending five shows)
  • Playgoers tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees (a typical playgoer saw seven shows versus four for the musical attendee)
  • Theatregoers who saw 15 or more shows comprised 6% of the audience (representing only 31% of all tickets sold)
  • Exposure to the theatre as a child and parental interest in theatre was the strongest factor in developing future audiences (65% of current theatregoers cited their parents or other family members took them to theatre as a child or teenager)
  • Personal recommendation was the strongest reported influence in show selection (cited by 49% of theatregoers, while 28% listed critics' reviews as a major influence; print reviews were more influential with playgoers, whereas television reviews were more influential with musical attendees)
  • The average age of the Broadway theatergoer was 42 years old (on par with last season and slightly younger than previous seasons)
  • 62% of the audience was female (women continue to be the primary decision makers in show selection)
  • Theatregoers under 18 years accounted for nearly 1.15 million tickets (down from the past three seasons, though still considered high)
  • The annual household income of the average theatregoer was $102,100 (approximately $6,000 higher than the last season, still affluent when compared to the average American)
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