There is more to be learned about the people who see new shows -- the audience every producer needs to launch and make it through the first season if their show plans an open ended run. In the last blog post on those Telecharge customers who saw a new show in the 2014-15 season, the data showed that 75% of customers saw one new show and 25% saw more than one, but that 25% were very important as their activity represented 54% of Telecharge sales.
We can’t, however, depend on those multi-buyers to carry us as they only saw an average of 3.5 shows each (not counting any activity on a Ticketmaster show or purchases at the box office or TKTS) and there were 24 new shows on Telecharge (25 if you count Wolf Hall as two shows). Not many are real heavy attendees: 1,650 Telecharge customers saw 10 or more Telecharge shows (1,087 in the tri state area); that represents only .3% (3 tenths of one percent!) of the customers who saw a new Telecharge show in the 2014-15 season. There were 107,000 who saw 2 or more.
Delving further into the data, of the 75% who saw one show - representing 46% of TC sales, 28% were new to file and 47% were customers with a previous Broadway purchase.
So the total breakdown:
- 28% of customers were new to file and they saw a new show
- 47% of customers had a previous Broadway purchase and they saw one new show
- 25% saw more than one new show.
New to file is not just customers from out of town. 28.5% of new to file buyers were from NYC and 33% were from out of town. The smallest segment of new to file was from the suburbs: 18% (how much Broadway advertising do customers see who live in the suburbs and have not seen a Broadway show?). Together the average is 28%. It is interesting that such a large percentage of buyers for new shows are new to file customers from out of town and presumably they are not exposed to any advertising or certainly not much.
Shows that opened later in the season saw less new to file than those that opened earlier. The high end for new to file was 45% and that was a limited run play, whereas the low end was 17-19% for shows with abbreviated runs or more specialized material. Out of 24 shows, 8 saw new to file from NYC over 30%, 1 show saw over 30% new to file from the suburbs and six saw new to file over 36% from out of town. Most shows clustered around the average.
The percentage of sales from early adopters can vary. Last season the low was 19% for a show that ran the entire season, and as such saw lots of sales from people who were not early adopters; the high was 84%. Shorter run shows or shows with specialized appeal saw a higher percentage of sales to early adopters. Three star vehicles with complete runs did see a large percentage of sales (60%-72%) from early adopters.
Where does this leave us?
- Multi-buyers are the low hanging fruit as they represent close to half the sales on the phone and web but few shows can depend on them for all their sales. There are simply not enough of them and they don’t see enough shows (or enough shows purchased in advance through Telecharge at regular price or with a discount code).
- It is important to reach beyond the multi-buyer audience as that is where all the new shows will see the other half of their sales.
- We cannot overlook new buyers. They represent close to 30% of a new show’s sales.
Everyone fishes where the fish are but that makes the fishing hole very crowded.