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 9,000 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 8-9 workers, and generates $1 million annually.

    • The performing arts industry consists of about 9,000 groups that employ 76,800 workers and generate about $7.5 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 13, 2023 - Broadway Recovery Continues
                                  • According to CBS New York, three years after Broadway’s COVID shutdown, ticket sales and attendance are returning to normal. The current Broadway season brings 37 shows, with 17 in spring alone, with a total of 15 musicals, which is the industry standard, according to Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin. The recovery is ongoing on Broadway. She added, “We’re not back to full capacity. We’re at about 88%.” Broadway shut down for nearly 18 months due to the pandemic. It reopened in September 2021, with Hamilton, Chicago, Wicked, and The Lion King among the first shows to return.
                                  • Consumer confidence levels declined in February 2023 for the second consecutive month, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 102.9 in February 2023 from 106 in January 2023, as high prices and rising interest rates affected consumers’ willingness to spend. According to Ataman Ozyildirim, a senior director of economics at The Conference Board, “Consumer confidence declined again in February. The decrease reflected large drops in confidence for households aged 35 to 54 and for households earning $35,000 or more.” Plans to purchase homes, vehicles, and appliances have cooled, in addition to a drop in vacation intentions, per Ozyildirim.
                                  • More performing arts groups are experiencing cyber attacks that are leaving them unable to sell tickets and disrupting operations, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center were the subject of attacks in February 2023, crippling ticket sales and ticketing functions. During the attack, tickets were made available for patrons at the center's box office. A cyber attack impacted the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in December 2022, leaving the organization's network systems non-functioning for nine days before operations could be restored. Performing arts groups will want to address their cyber vulnerabilities and invest in improved security to prepare for potential attacks.
                                  • An omnibus package passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Biden in December 2022 allots $207 million in funding for both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for fiscal year 2023, according to Americans for the Arts. The funding is a $27 million increase from the previous year. Additional arts-related items in the omnibus package include $36.5 million for Arts in Education, $10 million for the US Department of Defense’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence for clinical creative arts therapies for military service members, a provision that encourages charitable giving, and funding increases related to arts education.
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