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The Broadway League Reveals "The Demographics of the Broadway Season" for 2012-13 Season

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THE BROADWAY LEAGUE
REVEALS|
“THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE BROADWAY AUDIENCE”
FOR 2012-2013 SEASON

23% of Tickets Purchased by Foreign Tourists
Season Attracted Largest Number of Theatregoers Age 18 - 24
41% of respondents said they bought their tickets online

(New York, NY)  January 9, 2014 – The Broadway League’s 16th annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2012-2013, compares current theatergoing habits to previous seasons and aids in predicting trends for the future. The report is part of an ongoing series that profiles Broadway theatergoers each season.

Untitled Document The analysis is based on extensive survey data gleaned from audience questionnaires distributed throughout the 2012-2013 Broadway season in New York City. It includes highlights on the demographics of the audience and their ticket purchasing habits. Each year brings fluctuations to the make-up of the audiences due to a variety of reasons such as content (availability of family fare), weather (Hurricane Sandy affected some local theatregoers), the economy, and changing competition for leisure activities. Therefore, this longitudinal analysis is important to track the trends and changes of the Broadway audiences over time.

“The 2012 – 2013 season attracted the largest number of admissions by visitors from other countries since this study has begun, with international tourists accounting for 23% of all admissions to Broadway shows in New York City,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “We also saw a notable increase in the diversity of our audiences. In particular, we have seen a growth in the Hispanic audience to nearly 8% of our theatergoing audience. We will continue our efforts to diversify the audience with programs like Viva Broadway which was initiated two years ago. This season also attracted the largest number of theatergoers age 18-24, and we are hopeful that this trend will continue and these young adults will continue to attend theatre as they age and introduce the theatregoing tradition to their own families.”

Of note, the newest study reveals that tourists accounted for 66% of all Broadway tickets, up from 63% in the 2011-2012 season. The number of attendances by domestic tourists has grown from 3.4 million in 1999 to 5 million in 2013.

International visitors comprised almost 23% of admissions, the highest percentage in recorded history.  This translated to 2.6 million tickets, another record-breaker.  The proportion of suburbanites was the lowest on record, at 17% or just under 2 million tickets. 

In the 2012-2013 season, the average age of the Broadway attendee was 42.5 years old, slightly younger than the past few seasons. This season attracted the highest percentage of theatregoers age 18 – 24 (14% or 1.6 million admissions)  in the history of this analysis. There were just over one million admissions by kids and teens in the 2012 – 2013 season.

In the 2012-2013 season, 78% of admissions were made by Caucasian theatregoers, the same as the previous year. Although the audience is still primarily Caucasian, there is an increase the diversity of audiences.  In particular, there has been a growth in the Hispanic audience to 8% of the theatergoing audience, representing approximately 880,000 admissions.  This is an increase from two years ago of 2%, or 170,000 theatregoers. The percentage of Hispanic theatregoers was nearly 8%, the second highest in the history of this analysis.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they purchased their tickets online. The use of the internet to purchase tickets has been on the rise for the past decade, with telephone sales declining accordingly. The percentage of visits to the box office has remained somewhat consistent over the past decade.

Reflecting a trend of the past few decades, 68% of the audiences were female. Playgoers also tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical play attendee saw seven shows in the past year; the musical attendee, three. The average Broadway theatergoer reported attending 4 shows in the previous 12 months. Word-of-mouth was the most influential factor in show selection.

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.

The Broadway League thanks Theatre Development Fund for its generous support in co-funding this ongoing research project.

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About the Methodology

From June 2012 through June 2013, the League’s Research Department administered surveys at 34 different productions at 68individual 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, 11,820questionnaires were distributed and 5,761were returned, representing a 49%rate of return. Totals in some charts may not add up exactly to 100%, due to rounding.

About the Broadway League

The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League’s 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers who present in nearly 200 markets in North America, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.BroadwayLeague.com, or follow The Broadway League on Twitter @TheBwayLeague or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. BROADWAY.ORG is the League’s new official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC and on tour. Download the free Broadway.org mobile app for iOS or Android, and the free IBDB mobile app for iOS or Android.


The Broadway League annually presents the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards,® one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry, with The American Theatre Wing.

Broadway theatres are filled with an exciting array of new and classic musicals and plays, providing the perfect experience for every audience. Great seats are available at every price point and are easy to buy online, by phone, or in person at theatre box offices. It's always the perfect time to see a show. Broadway performs every day of the week at multiple curtain times to accommodate every schedule.

Andrew C. McGibbon

 

 

Andrew C. McGibbon has spent the past thirty years working in live theatre as a stage manager, general manager, producer and leader in the convergence of Broadway and online.

Mr. McGibbon worked as a stage manager and general manager for ten years. In 1994 he created a website devoted to live theatre, BroadwayWorld-Wide.com. The site was subsequently bought by, and became Playbill.com. He continued to manage the site for Playbill for four years. In 2000 he became the website manager for TonyAwards.com. With the 2008-09 season he finished his ninth year on the show. He has also worked as a webmaster for the Broadway LeagueJazz at Lincoln Center, and as the Director of Digital Media for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Since 2015, Andrew has been working as an architectural photographer and virtual tour photographer known for his photography of theatres such as the Kimmel Center, Tanglewood, Signature Theatre Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, Arena Stage and the Goodspeed Opera House. His photography work can be previewed at https://andrewmcgibbonphotography.com.

Mr. McGibbon is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Independent Theatre Bloggers AssociationActors' Equity Association and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, as well as the American Society of Media Photographers

In addition to his work in the theatrical industry, Mr. McGibbon is also a partner in Simple Solutions Distributing, a manufacturer of filtration equipment for the waste-water industry.

Photo: Elizabeth Leitzell

 

 

 

Website: www.facebook.com/andrewmcgibbon