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The Audience for Touring Broadway: A Demographic Study 2011-2012

The Audience for Touring Broadway: A Demographic Study


Broadway touring shows play a vital role in the Broadway industry, not only in terms of revenue, but also in terms of national visibility and outreach to new audiences. Touring companies travel the country, performing for days or weeks in a particular city. Sometimes a second company of a show will open for an unlimited run in another city.

In general, these tours (mostly musicals) make up the "Broadway season" of a local theatrical presenting organization, usually consisting of four to six shows.  Audiences for touring Broadway have some distinct characteristics and specific reasons for attending a show that vary from New York audiences. To help producers and presenters understand the customers for touring Broadway, the Research Department of the League of American Theatres and Producers initiated this longitudinal study in 1997. In alternate years we survey audiences at representative theatres across the county to put together this portrait of the audience on a national level as well as region by region.

This report includes detailed information on demographics, subscriber vs.single ticket buyer comparisons, ticket purchasing habits, and other leisure choices, as well as comparisons to previous years, U.S. census data, and New York theatregoer demographics.

From the Executive Summary

  • In the 2011–2012 season, Broadway shows touring across North America drew nearly 13 million attendances.
  • Seventy percent of attendees were female.
  • The average age of the Touring Broadway theatregoer was 50.5 years.
  • Eighty-nine percent of Touring Broadway theatregoers were Caucasian.
  • Seventy-eight percent of the audience held a college degree and 30% held a graduate degree.
  • Forty-six percent of national theatregoers reported an annual household income of more than $100,000, compared to only 21% of Americans overall.
  • Thirty-one percent of respondents were subscribers to the “Broadway Series” at their local venue.
  • On average, Touring Broadway attendees saw 4 shows per year.
  • Women continued to be more likely than men to make the decision to purchase tickets to the show.
  • When looking for information about the show, the majority of audiences looked to the theatre’s website.
  • The most commonly cited sources for show selection were: the music, personal recommendation, articles about the show, having previously seen the show, and its inclusion in the season subscription.
  • Respondents reported the Tony Awards® to be more influential this season than in previous seasons.  Twenty-one percent of respondents said that Tony Awards® or nominations were a reason they attended the show, compared to 8% in the 2005– 2006 season.
  • Only 17% of respondents said that an advertisement influenced them to select the show and 14% said they were influenced by a newspaper critic’s review.
  • Forty percent of respondents said that different performance times would encourage them to attend Touring Broadway more frequently.
  • Forty-seven percent of Touring Broadway theatregoers used the Internet to purchase their tickets, the highest percentage yet.
  • Thirty-four percent of respondents said they made a visit to New York City in the past year.  Of those, 82% attended a Broadway show while in town.

The Audience For Touring Broadway 2011-2012
55 pages, illustrated with color charts and graphs
Published by The Broadway League 

Cover and sample page:

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