Performing Arts Groups

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 9,200 performing arts groups in the US produce live presentations by a variety of artists, including actors, singers, dancers, and musical groups. The industry includes theater companies and dinner theaters; dance companies; musical groups and artists; and other types of performing arts groups. Major revenue sources include admission fees; contracts for performances; contributions, gifts, and grants; and investment income.

Competition From Alternative Entertainment

Performing arts groups compete with a variety of alternative forms of entertainment, including movies, television, sporting events, and digital media.

Industry size & Structure

The average performing arts group operates out of a single location, employs about 12-14 workers, and generates $1 million annually.

    • The performing arts industry consists of about 9,200 groups that employ 128,800 workers and generate about $11.1 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; the top 50 companies account for 32% of industry revenue.
    • The majority of firms operate within a limited geographical market. Large organizations include the Metropolitan Opera Association, the "Big Five" orchestras (New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra), Feld Entertainment (Ringling Brothers), and Cirque du Soleil based in Canada.
    • Theater companies account for about 36% of firms and 48% of industry revenue. Musical groups and artists account for about 54% of firms and 37% of industry revenue. Dance companies and other groups account for about 10% of firms and 5% of industry revenue.
    • New York City is considered the center of the US theater industry.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Performing Arts Groups Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Mar 8, 2024 - Employment, Wages Up
                                  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), performing arts groups have seen employment levels and wages grow in recent years as the industry recovers post pandemic. Employment for performing arts groups increased by 10.6% in 2023 compared to the previous year, reaching its highest level in the fourth quarter, per the BLS. From December 2019 to December 2023, employment levels have grown by 8.5%. In a competitive labor market, wages for employees in the industry have increased in recent years, by 5.2% in late 2023 compared to 2022 and by almost 29% compared to 2019. The average hourly wage reached $35 in Q4, per the BLS.
                                  • According to a recent ConsumerSignals survey by Deloitte, more discretionary categories, including recreation and entertainment, leisure travel, restaurants, and electronics, represented an estimated 22% share of consumer’s wallets in January, up slightly from a year ago. According to the Spending Intentions index, global total spending intentions remained consistent in January compared to December and were significantly higher than a year ago. Spending intentions have gradually returned to their 2021 levels after inflation stunted global spending confidence. The survey also revealed that over 60% of survey respondents reported their finances had either remained the same or improved in the past year, up from 58% a year ago.
                                  • A new report from the Broadway League showed that attendance in 2022-2023 was not yet back to pre-COVID levels, but trends included a younger and more diverse audience. The season generated 12.3 million admissions, 16.8% lower than the record-breaking 2018-2019 season, according to the “The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2022-2023” report. The 2022-2023 season was the first complete season since reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic. About 47.5% of theatergoers were from the US outside of New York City, 35% were from the New York City metropolitan area, and 17% were from other countries. The audience was more diverse in 2022-2023, reaching a record 29% identifying as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color) attributed to a combination of outreach efforts and more shows written by and featuring people of color. The average age of an audience member was 40.4, younger than in the past 20 seasons.
                                  • Consumer confidence levels fell in February 2024 after increasing for three consecutive months, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 106.7 in February 2024 from 110.9 in January 2024. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “The decline in consumer confidence in February interrupted a three-month rise, reflecting persistent uncertainty about the US economy. The drop in confidence was broad-based, affecting all income groups except households earning less than $15,000 and those earning more than $125,000.” Peterson added that the decline in consumer confidence was largest in householders over 55 and those under 35. Plans to purchase homes, autos, and large appliances decreased slightly on a six-month basis.
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