Top 10 Takeaways from the Newest Broadway Demographics Report

The Broadway League recently released their annual Broadway Demographics Report for the 2014-2015 Broadway Season. (Click here if you are interested in ordering your own copy of the report.) Here are my top ten takeaways from last season on Broadway:

1. It was the most attended Broadway season ever – with 13.1 million attendees, it was easily the highest attended season to date (beating the 2013-2014 season by nearly 1 million people).

2. Women buy Broadway – 68% of ticket purchasers in the 2014-2015 season were female, which continues to follow the previous trend. We usually see about 2/3 of Broadway tickets purchased by women. This doesn’t mean every audience is 2/3 women, but it does mean they are the ones entering their credit card into Telecharge or Ticketmaster.

3. People are buying more in advance – 39% of ticket buyers purchased tickets over 1 month in advance, which is the highest number of advance ticket buyers we’ve seen in this category since the 2002-2003 season.

4. Tourism is on the rise – If you also read NYC and Company’s annual tourism report (click here to catch up on that article from our VP of Marketing and Insights, Janette Roush) both domestic and international tourism to NYC is on the rise and predicted to grow even further. In fact, Domestic US tourists represented 49.2% of Broadway audiences in the 2014-2015 season, which is the highest composition of Domestic US tourists since 2007-2008.

5. International tourists are flocking to NYC, but they’re attending less Broadway – See the last point; International tourism to NYC is on the rise. However, only 17.5% of Broadway audiences in the 2014-2015 season were international tourists, which is the lowest international attendance composition of the last four seasons.

6. Local attendance is up – NYC attendance posted at 17.7% (the highest composition of Manhattan/Borough attendees since the 2008-2009 season) and NYC Suburb attendance posted at 15.6% (up from 14.6% during the 2013-2014 season). In fact, the top ten counties where theatergoers live included many local markets, including Manhattan; Queens; Brooklyn; Nassau; Suffolk; Westchester; Monmouth, NJ; Bergen, NJ and Fairfield, CT.

7. Broadway is getting older – The average age of the Broadway attendee in the 2014-2015 season was 44.3 years old, which is the highest reported number by the Broadway League since 1998 (with the exception of the 2009-2010 season). In fact, we saw the highest attendance composition by theatergoers 65+ since the 1980’s at 16.4% of attendance. Bonus fact: 63.1% of play attendance was over 50 years old, while only 41.5% of musical attendance was over 50 years old.

8. Broadway (unfortunately) isn’t diverse – 79.8% of attendees during the 2014-2015 season were Caucasian, which follows a similar pattern in ethnic attendance since 1998.

9. Education and household income are important – roughly half of Broadway attendees report an annual household income over $100,000 and 82% of Broadway attendees graduated college (in fact, 43% of attendees have a graduate degree or higher). These are definitely factors that play into the average attendee seeing 5 Broadway shows last season.

10. People use the Internet – Online ticket purchases have roughly doubled over the last decade, and Internet use was up dramatically when it came to research—over three quarters of all theatergoers look online to research shows. Even 64% of seniors looked online, which is up from 60% in the 2013-2014 season and 37% in the 2012-2013 season.