Broadway League 2014-15 Demographics Show Record-Breaking Admission and Reflect LGBT Inclusivity

News   Broadway League 2014-15 Demographics Show Record-Breaking Admission and Reflect LGBT Inclusivity
The Broadway League has released its annual study "Demographics of the Broadway Audience" for the 2014-15 season on Broadway. More than two-thirds were female and, surprisingly, they see more straight plays than musicals. But things are changing.

  • For one thing, according to the 52-page report, the number of ticket buyers is continuing to grow. In the 2014–15 season, there were a record-breaking 13.1 million admissions to Broadway shows. Approximately two-thirds of those were made by tourists: 49 percent from the United States (but outside New York City and its suburbs) and 18 percent from other countries.


  • Sixty-eight percent of the audience was female.  

  • The average age of the Broadway theatregoer was 44 years.


  • Theatregoers tend to be more affluent than the general population: 35 percent of those surveyed said they have a household income of more than $150,000 a year, compared with less than 10 percent of Americans in general.


  • Of theatregoers over 25 years old, 78 percent had completed college and 39 percent had earned a graduate degree.


  • While audiences are still primarily white (79.8 percent in 2014-15), the percentage of black theatregoers has grown from 3.6 percent in 1998-99 to 6.0 percent in 2014-15.


  • The average Broadway theatregoer reported attending four shows in the previous 12 months. The group of devoted fans who attended 15 or more performances comprised less than 5.6 percent of the audience, but accounted for 32 percent of all tickets sold (4.2 million admissions).


  • Playgoers tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical straight-play attendee saw eight shows in the past year; the musical attendee, four.


  • Word-of-mouth continues to be the most influential factor in show selection: 45.8 percent said they bought a ticket on the basis of "personal recommendation." In second place (13.6 percent) was "like the music." In third place (19.0 percent) was "like the movie." The factor "critics review" was only fourth place (16.0 percent). It was followed by "to see a particular performer" (14.3 percent) and "it received Tony Awards or nominations" (11.6 percent).


  • Broadway audiences are continuing their shift to the web. While only 7 percent of theatregoers bought their tickets via the internet in 1999-2000— a distant third place behind phone and box-office sales— more than 50 percent did so in 2014-15, putting web sales far and away the top method for buying tickets.


  • Theatregoers also get most of their information about shows from internet sources, versus traditional media. Some 74.6 percent of respondents said they get their information from websites like Only 26.3 percent rely primarily on newspapers and magazines; 15.6 percent television; 6.3 percent radio. (Respondents were allowed to cite multiple sources.)


  • The average reported date of ticket purchase for a Broadway show was 36 days before the performance.


  • Domestic tourism to NYC continues to grow and has been growing steadily since 2009, and is reflected in growing domestic audiences on Broadway. There was a small dip this year in international tourists.


  • Lastly, some interesting findings under the category "Theatregoing Companions." Males overwhelmingly (48.3 percent) said they saw shows accompanied by "wife or girlfriend," but, thanks to new marriage laws, 9.4 percent of men reported that they saw shows with "husband or boyfriend." Among women, however, only 31.9 percent reported that they saw shows with "husband or boyfriend" versus a nearly similar 27.1 percent who saw shows with "female friend(s)." Only 1.2 percent of women reported attending shows with "wife or girlfriend."
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