The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2012-2013

“I’m in a demographics waaaaaay, so . . . stay with me!”  (If you know City of Angelsyou’ll get that reference.  If you don’t, you should, listen to this tune . . . it’s a Coleman masterpiece.)

What I was trying to say, for those of you who don’t speak musicalese, is that I’ve got demographics on the brain.

First it was last week’s Broadway Investor Survey results and yesterday’s follow up.  Today, it’s all about who the Broadway customers were in the last complete Broadway season (2012-2013).

Every year the Broadway League (that fancy trade org that represents Broadway Producers) does an even fancier survey of ticket buyers and makes the results available to League Members in a super-fancified glossy booklet.

And every year, I give you the highlights of the Executive Summary of this report, so you can use it how you see fit.  Any text emphasis (italicizing and underlining and e-jumping up and down) is mine, not The League’s.

Here’s what the Broadway League found out from ticket buyers in the 2012-13 season.

  • In the 2012 – 2013 season, tourists purchased approximately 66% of all Broadway tickets. International tourists comprised 23% of attendees, the highest percentage in recorded history.
  • Sixty-eight percent of the audiences were female.
  • The average age of the Broadway theatregoer was 42.5 years.  (Last year it was 43.5.  Progress?  Please???)
  • Seventy-eight percent of all tickets were purchased by Caucasian theatregoers.  (BOO!)
  • Broadway theatregoers were quite affluent compared to the general United States population, reporting an average annual household income of $186,500.
  • Of theatregoers over 25 years old, 74% had completed college and 36% had earned a graduate degree.
  • The average Broadway theatregoer reported attending 4 shows in the previous 12 months. The group of devoted fans who attended 15 or more performances comprised only 5% of the audience, but accounted for 31% of all tickets (3.6 million admissions).
  • Playgoers tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical straight play attendee saw seven shows in the past year; the musical attendee, three.
  • Word-of-mouth was the most influential factor in show selection.  (Always has been, always will be, no matter what technology comes out tomorrow.)
  • The most popular sources for theatre information were word-of-mouth,, and The New York Times.  (Dear,  some folks are going to be very mad at you.  For a list, please contact me.)
  • Forty-one percent of respondents said they purchased their tickets online.
  • The average reported date of ticket purchase for a Broadway show was 27 days before the performance.  (I so wish I had this stat from 20 years ago.  I’d take bets that it was TRIPLE this amount of time.)
  • Twenty-three percent of respondents said that some kind of advertisement prompted them to select the show.  (All that money and only 23%.  Seems scary, right?  Nahhhh.  People are influenced by advertising even when they don’t know it.  That’s the best kind.)
  • Forty-two percent of attendees walked to the theatre. Nineteen percent took the subway, and 14% drove in a car.

So what do you think?  Any snarky comments to go along with mine?  What do you do with this info?

And if you’d like to see how things have changed since last year or the year before, click below to check out those reports:

Broadway Demographics 2011-2012 Broadway Demographics 2010-2011


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.