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Study reveals US arts and culture ticket sales fall

Ticket sales fell by a greater average percentage than revenue for 15 major arts and cultural organisations across the United States over the course of the 2021-22 season, according to a new study by non-profit consultancy JCA.

‘Trends in Audience Behavior: Reopening Season Trends’ gathered data from six regional theatres, four music organisations, two opera companies, two performing arts centres and one ballet company.

JCA Arts Marketing, a division of JCA, carried out the research, which found that relative to before the pandemic, a 17% reduction in paid capacity produced a fall in revenue of 8% per performance.

The study also revealed that subscription and discount ticket sales also dropped by 32% and 21%, respectively, while full-price ticket sales remained flat.

The research added that new audience members dropped by 33% in comparison with the 2018-19 season, but there was no indication of increased price sensitivity among audiences.

Countering some other studies, the research also found that only 20.6% of sales had come in the final week before an event in the 2021-22 campaign, down from 24.5% before the pandemic.

“This is just the beginning of understanding how the pandemic has affected sales trends of performing arts organisations,” said Jamie Alexander, director of JCA Arts Marketing and co-author of the study.

“Our hope is that this study provides a baseline of data for measuring ongoing change, and helps organisations make educated decisions for their programming and marketing efforts to reengage audiences in this new era.”

Image: Jonatan Moerman on Unsplash

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