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19
May

Touring Broadway Cultivates Frequent Theatregoing Habits, According to a New Report from the League

(New York, May 19, 2005) Every other year, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. undertakes a new chapter in its longitudinal tracking study of the audiences at Broadway tours. These shows, which traveled to nearly 200 theatres across the country, sold more than 12 million tickets and generated over $700 million in revenue.

Among the most significant findings of this new report, “The Audience for Touring Broadway, A Demographic Study: 2003–2004,” is that the average touring Broadway theatregoer attended seven shows a year during the 2003-04 season—an increase over past seasons. 50% of the respondents were subscribers to their local theatre's Broadway Series. This rise in subscriptions has contributed to the overall increase in frequency of attendance.

Seventy-nine percent of touring Broadway theatergoers who come to New York also saw a Broadway show in New York City, a fact which underscores the symbiotic relationship existing between touring Broadway and New York Broadway theatre.

“Often a Broadway show in New York will generate national publicity through press, advertising, Tony Awards and other marketing efforts, but then a touring version will reach a much wider variety of theatregoers by traveling to local theatres across the U.S.,” commented Jed Bernstein, President, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. “That experience, in turn, entices them to come to see Broadway shows in New York.”

“Our goal in publishing `The Audience for Touring Broadway, 2003-2004,' is to help producers and presenters better understand their customers by tracking the profiles of audiences for touring Broadway and analyzing their unique characteristics and theatergoing habits and changes over time,” commented Karen Hauser, Director of Research for The League. “We also hope to stress the importance of tours not only in local markets, but also to the Broadway industry overall in terms of revenue, visibility, and audience development.”

Key Findings:

Profile of The Touring Broadway Theatregoer

The average touring Broadway theatergoers was female, affluent and well-educated. Moreover, 75% of those who made the decision to buy tickets were also female. Gender ratios were similar across the country, although the Northeast reported the highest percentage of female attendees.

The average age of the touring Broadway theatergoer was 51 years, up from 48 years in the 2002 season. 69% of the audience held a college degree and 31% held a graduate degree. Older theatergoers were more likely to be subscribers than younger ones. 60% of those over age 50 were subscribers.

The average annual household income of the national theatregoer was $79,800 – 81% higher than that of the average American citizen. The vast majority of theatergoers were Caucasian.

Approximately one-half of the audience were subscribers, attending 9 shows a year, versus single ticket buyers, who attended 4 times a year. Older theatergoers were more likely to be subscribers than younger ones. Sixty percent of those over age 50 were subscribers. The average age of the subscriber has increased from 53.9 years in 2002 to 55.3 years in 2004.

Profile of the Touring Broadway Subscriber vs. the Single Ticket Buyer
Subscriber
Single Ticket Buyer

Gender
72% Female
73% Female

Age
55.3 Years Old
46.4 Years Old

Ethnic (Caucasian)
92%
84%

Education (college)
72%
65%

Average Income
$98,400
$81,000

Frequency of theatre-going
9
4

Key Differences Between Touring Broadway and Broadway Theatergoer
Among some of the key differences between Touring Broadway and Broadway theatergoing are the female/male ratio, the average age, and the ethnic composition.

Although the majority of theatergoers for Broadway shows in New York City and across the country were both female, the percentage of women continued to be higher in audiences for touring shows than in New York City, with women comprising 72% on the road, versus 63% in New York City.

Fifty-nine percent of the audience for touring Broadway was over 50, compared to 35% of the New York audience. Moreover, only 3% of theatergoers attending shows on the road were under 18, compared to 11% in New York.

The New York and touring Broadway audiences were similarly educated, but New York City attracted a slightly higher percentage of theatergoers with gradate degrees.

Following is a chart outlining some of these and other key differences between touring Broadway and Broadway audiences.

Differences Between Touring Broadway and Broadway Audiences
Touring
NY

Gender
72% Female vs. 28% Male
63% Female vs. 37% Male

Age
51 Avg.
42 Avg.

Ethnic (Caucasian)
92%
84%

Education Completed (college)
69%
74%

Average Income
$89,000
$97,300

Frequency of theatre-going
6.7
5

The League of American Theatres and Producers is 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.