As most shows know empirically, the Wednesday audience is smaller than the other two nights. Our data bears that out. Looking at shows that play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in our database there are 23% more purchases for Tuesday than for Wednesday and 29% more purchases for Thursday than for Wednesday.
Those who don’t love data might prefer to skip to the Summary section.
What do we know about the Wednesday night audience? Is there any information to help market Wednesday nights? We asked our database expert to look at a year’s worth of data from the Telecharge database and pull out the shows that played Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. How does the geography of the audience break down (these percentages are of the total Wednesday night audience)?
- NYC 30%
- Suburbs 21%
- Out of town 49%
- NYC 29%
- Suburbs 22%
- Out of town 49% (Thursday is the highest)
- Looking at purchases, NYC early adopters prefer Tuesday, followed by Thursday and then Wednesday. NYC Early Adopters are a slightly larger percentage for Thursday than Tuesday.
- Suburban early adopters prefer Thursday (purchases not percentage) followed by Tuesday than Wednesday. When measured in percentages, all three are even.
- Out of town early adopters prefer Thursday (purchases not percentage) over Tuesday then Wednesday.
Other demographic characteristic highlights:
- Power elite prefer Tuesday night over Wednesday, then Thursday
- 65-74 prefer Tuesday over the other two nights.
- 55-64 prefer Wednesday and Thursday over Tuesday
- Children. Empty nesters are evenly split over all three.
Where does this leave us?
We have looked at issues surrounding weekday preferences and Wednesday nights several times in this blog: customers who expressed a preference for early curtains, we asked when out of town audiences arrive, we did a survey on Wednesday matinee curtain times, and lastly we asked how important is curtain time to customers when making their performance date decision.
Is there new information? This season there were shows doing Wednesday Matinees at 1PM: Aladdin, Ferryman, Frozen, King Lear and To Kill a Mockingbird. For a few, running time may be a reason, for others the profile of their audience; however, these shows don’t appear to have been hurt by the early matinee curtain. Audiences seem to be fine with it (see previous paragraph for link to research). The early matinee means they are able to perform earlier in the evening than 8:00PM: four of the shows play Wednesday night at 7, the fifth is at 7:30. As a side benefit, the crowds in Times Square area, including at restaurants, are staggered. For example, it is easier to obtain a table at Orso’s on a Wednesday at 1PM because a large wave of matinee attendees has left to attend their 1 PM shows, and the restaurant quiets down.
1 PM Wednesday matinee curtains are accepted by audiences, we know audiences have told us they prefer 7PM weekday curtains, and everyone sees audiences gravitate to Tuesday and Thursday performances over Wednesdays. Why, then, are so many shows on Wednesday evenings at 8? A combination of early matinee and evening curtain times on Wednesday could not hurt and it might help the Wednesday night dilemma.