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AMERICAN THEATRE | New Examine Measures the Gross sales Decline of the 2021-22 Season


The 2021-22 reopening season noticed a decline in patrons, ticket gross sales, and income, in accordance with a latest report from JCA Arts Advertising, which carried out a examine that tracked reopening traits. The main focus of the examine was on viewers conduct and ticket gross sales. Inspecting 15 skilled arts organizations—six regional theatres, 4 music organizations, two opera firms, two performing arts facilities, and one ballet firm—with the assistance of Income Administration Software (RMA) instruments, the evaluation got here to a few stark conclusions, and the report supplied a listing of suggestions for future seasons.

Relative to pre-pandemic occasions, the 2021-22 season noticed a 14 p.c decline within the quantity of seats bought, a 17 p.c discount in paid capability, and an 8 p.c drop in income per efficiency. The omicron variant, which surged all through the season in query, performed a big function within the share of capability bought. JCA Arts Advertising recommends that arts organizations alter income targets, and be ready to repeatedly readjust them as unexpected occasions have an effect on the extent to which viewers members select to take part, and the way a lot they’ll pay.

One other advice from JCA: Organizations ought to put extra deal with viewers acquisition technique, as they aren’t seeing the identical patrons return to arts organizations this season. The variety of returning viewers members was 29 p.c decrease in 2021-22 than it was in 2018-19, and the variety of new viewers members was 33 p.c smaller than in 2018-19. Knowledge additionally present a lower in low cost patrons, so individuals don’t essentially appear to be motivated by decrease costs.

In truth, the examine reveals that elevating costs is in itself a foul concept, although organizations ought to make certain will increase are cheap. The examine reveals that organizations that elevated ticket costs on account of inflation did deliver in additional earnings and promote extra seats in comparison with organizations that saved costs the identical or lowered them. This led JCA to dig deeper into what sorts of tickets bought finest final season. They discovered that subscriptions have dropped 32 p.c compared to earlier seasons, and low cost and comp tickets gross sales have additionally dropped. However normal ticket gross sales remained constant. If subscription gross sales proceed to be comfortable within the coming season, organizations may wish to make certain to pack homes at earlier performances to create the sort of buzz and word-of-mouth pleasure that loyal subscription audiences as soon as offered.

One other sensible advice: Organizations ought to think about adjusting the variety of performances supplied per season. The variety of performances supplied in 2021-22 seasons was decrease than in 2018-19, whereas the income was disproportionately much less. Organizations staged about 68 p.c as many performances as in 2018-19, however introduced in simply 62 p.c as a lot ticket income. Common reveals, they discovered, did promote very nicely on this interval, however all different reveals bought poorly. That continues a development that was already in place previous to the pandemic, however evidently, because it did in lots of industries and segments of society, COVID-19 accelerated or exacerbated many current imbalances, and changes shall be required.

Organizations can pull from their very own information to check and distinction findings with JCA’s. In case your group has the RMA, you’ll be able to pull the identical metrics mirrored within the report, which may be discovered right here.

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