THE INSIGHTS

Learn from the Pros: A Breakdown of how Broadway Prices its Tickets

The start of 2020 means that another exciting year for Broadway has just got underway. With over 100 years of history behind these legendary theatres, Broadway has enjoyed a defining role in the entertainment industry. In recognition of this, we’ve decided to delve into how Broadway Theatres price their tickets, in order to see what we can learn from their expertise.

What We Did

For our research, we sampled a selection of 10 of the leading Broadway Shows and Theatres in order to get an idea of how the pros price their shows. Our research was conducted by researching the pricing list for theatre shows on a weekend and a weekday respectively.

We split tickets into groups (A, B, C etc) based on their price. We also included “special” tickets, both “obstructed view” tickets and “premium” tickets (boxes, orchestra seating) as outliers.

The Results

(Click to Enlarge Picture)

Key Takeaways from the Pros

Keep an Even Spread

In terms of consumer choice, all but 2 theatres had 6 or more “standard” prices available to buyers. This means that theatres are conscious of creating different price points for their audience members, particularly at lower levels. The theatres will never, however, sell more expensive tickets for less than $10 higher than the previous price. This shows a desire to keep distinct price categories.

The second thing that the graph tells us is that there is a slight increase in the interval between tickets once the tickets get more expensive. This means that at higher prices you should look to create more of a distinction between different tickets. This is due to the fact these tickets are more expensive, both meaning that a $20 is less of the value of the ticket at a higher price but also that premium-ticket buyers won’t mind the gap as much.

The ‘outliers’ in our research can be seen in the theatres which include either ‘cheap’ or premium seating. The reason for these being less consistent with the rest of our findings is that they rely heavily on the actual architecture of the theatres themselves. Some theatres have an annoying column that obscures certain seats from the stage, whereas others have a box, orchestra seating or in some cases even seating on the stage itself.

Price Weekend and Weekday Shows Differently

All theatres demonstrate some variation in how they distinguish the pricing of their weekend and weekday shows. As you might expect, weekday shows are consistently cheaper than their weekend counterparts. The drop, however, isn’t overly significant, with most tickets still remaining within $20 of each other. For A, B, C and D tickets, the average difference in price between a Weekday and Weekend ticket is $12. 

Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre was the only show to have no differentiation in pricing between Weekend and Weekday pricing. Dear Evan Hansen also showed less of a change between, but more in terms of having a slightly wider spread on weekdays than weekends. Overall, the pricing spread between Weekends and Weekdays is roughly similar despite the change in prices. 

Overall, however, this research shows that a little differentiation is good, both getting more people to your theatre on a ‘less desirable’ night of the week and ensuring that your weekend shows remain your premier nights.