According to a new report released this week by the Broadway League, 72 percent of patrons who attended touring productions of Broadway shows during the 2009-10 season were female, and the vast majority of ticket purchases for those productions (73 percent) were also made by women.
The high number of female patrons indicates that there remains a largely untapped audience of male patrons for producers to attempt to woo. In addition, the strong evidence of female purchasing power when it comes to touring ticket sales indicates that if a broker or producer wants to sell tickets, enticing women appears to be the way to go.
“Both Broadway in New York City and on the Road are evolving with the changes in the country and the diversity of shows that are attracting audiences of all ages and interests,” Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League, said in a statement.
The league’s biennial demographics report, “The Audience for Touring Broadway 2009-2010,” details who attends Broadway and Broadway touring productions, as well as noting audience ticket purchasing habits. The report offers those in the theatre community a look into what draws an audience member to a particular show and what keeps him (or, more likely, according to the report, her) continuing to buy tickets to Broadway shows.
Other demographic data outlined in the report: the average patron to a touring production was 53.8 years old, Caucasian, and held at least a college degree (74 percent, with 31 percent holding a graduate degree). In addition, 46 percent of those theatergoers had an annual income of over $100,000. As with the gender information, these elements also indicate areas in which there are untapped audiences- including minorities and younger patrons (particularly young working adults with disposable income).
Combined, touring shows and those on Broadway during the 2009-10 season contributed more than $13 billion to the local economies where performances were held. A total of 18,389 people responded to the survey.
The way patrons purchase their tickets, and what influences their purchases, has also seen changes since the last Broadway League report. Rather than rely on mailed show advertisements, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed opted to go to a show’s Web site for pertinent information. In fact, survey respondants indicated that they would rather receive their information regarding upcoming tours via e-mail rather than through traditional mail. And, 35 percent of those surveyed purchased their tickets over the internet rather than through the theatre box office.
Total gross ticket sales for the 2009-10 season were a shade under $2 billion, and nearly 28 million people attended Broadway or Touring Broadway shows.
With audiences moving more toward conducting their research regarding shows, as well as making their ticket purchases via the internet, it indicates that tours should look to increase their online presence rather than continue papering homes with advertisements. The report also indicates that Facebook is the most common social networking site utilized by tour patrons, making it a prime candidate for advertising.
Finally, the report found that patrons to Broadway touring productions are regular theatre-goers, with the average attendee seeing 4.4 shows a year. With such a dedicated clientele, appealing to their interests and advertising in a way that keeps their attention can work to keep these patrons happy.