Consumer Spending Turning to Opera?

WCFay-ticketsThe NEA, on their Art Works Blog, published some interesting findings of consumer spending habits on Opera performances.

Despite concern in the arts community that audiences are not attending performances, the latest data about opera seems to contradict that feeling. Some interesting data in the blog post include:

  • In 2014 Person Consumption Expenditures (PCE) on admissions to performing arts events reached $28 billion.
  • Consumers spent $778 million to see dance performances.
  • $2.2 billion was spent by consumers to attend concerts by symphony orchestras and chamber groups.
  • In 2015 approximately $15 billion was spent to attend plays.

But the real news in this report concerned attendees to opera performances.

In 2014 consumers spent nearly $3.2 billion to attend opera. After adjusting for inflation, that spending was 3.5 times greater than it was in 2000.

The blog goes on to say that between 2000 and 2014, real consumer spending on opera performances increased by an average of 8.7%, more than the growth of any other art form.

While these numbers are certainly positive for opera companies across the US, it also opens the door for questions. How does this data track when broken down on a regional level. Some opera companies have flourished during this period, 2000 to 2014, but others have gone out of business.

Another series of questions that springs to mind, how does this consumer spending translate into audience growth? What are the demographics of the audiences attending performances? Opera companies like most arts organizations have been yearning for younger audiences for years. Does this new information in any way translate to younger audience attendance?

Read the full blog post from the NEA: Taking Note: The Remarkable Growth in Consumer Spending on Opera Performances.

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