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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
Telephone: 212-764-1122
Email: EShevitz@broadway.org


The Broadway League Reveals “The Demographics Of The Broadway Audience” For 2009-2010 Season
December 08, 2010

The Broadway League's 13th annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2009-2010, 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 2009-2010 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 tourists accounted for 63% of the 11.89 million Broadway admissions this year. Resources such as ILoveNYTheater.com and the Broadway Concierge & Ticket Center TM located in the Times Square Information Center provide information in six different languages for tourists and New York residents alike. Overall, international t ourists accounted for 17% of all admissions to Broadway shows in New York City. With 8.6 million visits* by foreign tourists, approximately one in four took in a Broadway show.

“Our annual demographic report reflects the consistency of the Broadway audience, yet slight nuances demonstrate how audiences and their behaviors do change from year-to-year,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League . “We did see a drop in the international tourists from a record high, most logically due to the changing economic conditions. New York City continues to show strong tourism numbers as such a significant number of our visitors do come from outside the NYC metro area.”

The report also shows that the use of the Internet for the purchase of tickets has decreased by 5% since the 2008-2009 season (from 39% to 34%). However, online purchase continues to be the most popular method of ticket buying for a sixth year in row.

For show selection, critics' reviews were the most influential factors for playgoers, followed closely by personal recommendation. However, 48% 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 seven shows in the past year, compared with five for the musical attendee. Those who saw fifteen or more shows comprised 6% of the audience, but represented 31% of all admissions.

Reflecting a trend of the past few decades, 66.3% of the audiences were female, marking the highest percentage of female audiences. Furthermore, 69% of those making the purchasing decisions were female.

Three quarters of admissions were Caucasian theatergoers, but audiences have become slightly more diverse over the past decade. There were a higher percentage of Asian theatergoers this season, moving up from 3.9% to 6.1%.

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.

* NYC & Company


About the Methodology

From June 2009 through June 2010, the League's Research Department administered surveys at 24 different productions at 72 individual 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, 12,600 questionnaires were distributed and 6,127 were returned, representing a 49% rate of return.