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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE BROADWAY LEAGUE REVEALS “THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE BROADWAY AUDIENCE” FOR 2008-2009 SEASON
December 10, 2009
International visitors accounted for 21% of audiences
Highest increase in the 25 -34 age group since 1999-2000 season
The Broadway League’s 12th annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2008-2009, compares current theatergoing habits to previous seasons in predicting trends for the future.
The analysis is based on extensive survey data gleaned from audience questionnaires distributed throughout the 2008-2009 Broadway season in New York City. It includes highlights on the demographics of the audience and their ticket purchasing habits. The report is part of an ongoing series that profiles Broadway theatergoers each season.
Of note, the newest study reveals that international visitors accounted for 21% of the 12.15 million Broadway admissions, the highest portion in recorded history. Resources such as ILoveNYTheater.com and the Broadway Concierge & Ticket CenterTM located in the Times Square Information Center provide information in six different languages. Overall, tourists accounted for approximately 63% of all tickets sold to Broadway shows in New York City.
“Broadway is a national pastime! As there is more of a choice for the theatregoer than ever before, it is exciting to report that we are seeing a wider audience for Broadway. Our shows, and our audience, are more diverse than ever,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “With our goal to make Broadway a stronger international brand, we do believe that the increased attendance from foreign visitors to New York City reflects that these efforts are working. A stronger international brand will not only be an asset for Broadway’s business, but for the New York City economy as well.”
The report also shows that the use of the Internet for the purchase of tickets has grown by 471% since the 1999-2000 season (from 7% to 40%). Online purchase was the most popular method of ticket buying for a fifth year in row.
For show selection, critics’ reviews were the most influential factors for playgoers. However, forty-seven percent of theatergoers at musicals said that personal recommendation was the single strongest reported factor in deciding which show to see.
Playgoers also tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical playgoer saw eight shows in the past year, compared with four for the musical attendee. Those who saw fifteen or more shows comprised 5% of the audience, but represented 31% of all tickets sold.
The average age of the Broadway theatregoer was 42.2 years old, slightly older than last season, while those aged from 25-34accounted for 16% of all tickets sold, higher than it has been since the 1999-2000 season.
Broadway theatregoers were a very well educated and affluent group. In addition to an annual reported income of $195,700, 73% of theatregoers over the age of 25 had completed college and 36% had earned a graduate degree.
The Demographics of the Broadway Audience is published annually by The Broadway League, the clearinghouse for information on the business, demographics and economic impact of Broadway theatre throughout North America. The League compiles various statistics and publishes extensive reports on a number of topics.Printed versions of the reports are available for purchase online at http://www.broadwayleague.com/orderform.php.
About the Methodology
From June 2008 through June 2009, the League’s Research Department administered surveys at 24 different productions at 72individual performance times. Shows were selected on a quarterly basis to represent what Broadway was offering that season (i.e., a proportionate number of musicals versus straight plays; revivals versus original works; and new productions versus long-running shows). Questionnaires were distributed at multiple performances per show to account for variances in the weekday, weekend, evening and matinee audiences. Completed questionnaires were tabulated and weighted based upon the actual paid attendance for each show. In total, 12,143questionnaires were distributed and 6,365were returned, representing a 52% rate of return.