416: Live Performance

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
416: Live Performance

What’s the last performance you bought tickets to?

Show notes and links:
Broadway League
ABC News

Full episode script

Live performance and live music, when it comes to ways to take in your culture and entertainment, are probably two of the most popular options. And they’re also two of the more expensive options, at least according to some measures.

In July of 2017, several news outlets reported some version of these statistics – quote:

The average price of a concert ticket during the first six months of the year was $46.69 — 4.2 percent higher than the average cost of a ticket for the same period last year, according to the latest figures from music industry magazine Pollstar.

That price is almost 7 percent higher than the average for all of 2000, and an even more startling 43 percent increase over what concert tickets cost just three years ago, according to Pollstar.

That same report says that ticket sales have been dropping, but as with all things it really does depend on what stats you pay attention to. Statistia, a statistics service, estimates that in 2015 the combined sales of sports and music events will be more than doubled by 2020. Is that increased income just a factor of increased cost, though?

Maybe, maybe not. The Broadway League estimates attendance at Broadway shows in New York City to be around 13 million in the 2015-2016 season, continuing an upward trend that bottomed out at around 5 million in the 1980s.Touring broadway shows have seen a decline in attendance, from a high of almost 16 million in 2009-2010 to almost 14 million in 2015-2016.

In many ways, though, this is all comparing apples to oranges. Theater is not sports is not music, and all of these types of live performances have different audiences willing to pay possibly large amounts of money to go see them in-person.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.