The Broadway League’s annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2016–2017, compares current Broadway habits in New York City to previous seasons and aids in predicting trends for the future. This report is the 20th publication in a longitudinal study that tracks the trends and changes of the Broadway audiences over time. During the 2016–2017 season, more New Yorkers attended a Broadway show than any season since 1998–1999 and the number of theatregoers under 18 years old was the highest since this analysis began.
The analysis is based on extensive survey data gleaned from audience questionnaires distributed throughout the 2016–2017 Broadway season in New York City. It includes highlights on the demographics of the audience and ticket purchasing habits. Each year brings fluctuations to the make-up of the audiences due to a variety of reasons such as content, weather, 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.
For the 2016-2017 season, Broadway shows yielded $1.45 billion in grosses. Total attendances reached 13.3 million - attendance per playing week was 8,400, a 4% increase from 2015-16 attendance per playing week of 8,081. Theatregoers came from near and far and represented a variety of ages and ethnic backgrounds, and showed different purchasing habits and theatregoing preferences.
“Last season brought people from all over the world to a Broadway show, but we were especially popular right in our own back yard with the highest number of theatregoers from New York City since the 1998–1999 season! Audiences are responding to the wide variety of productions and the tailored programs such as Broadway Week and Viva Broadway,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “We also saw a record high number of attendances by kids and teens, perhaps thanks to events such as Kids’ Night on Broadway®, Broadway Bridges™, and the Jimmy® Awards -all programs designed to encourage young people to be interested in theatre.”
MORE FROM THE 2016 – 2017 REPORT
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. The reports are available for purchase online at https://www.broadwayleague.com/research/order-research-reports/.
The Broadway League thanks Theatre Development Fund for its generous support in co-funding this ongoing research project.