Broadway investors are white men in their 50s

Broadway investors are overwhelmingly white (94%), Christian (43%) men (65%) in their 50s (31%). That’s the latest finding from Ken Davenport’s survey and confirms that the demographic of investors currently active on Broadway is small pool.

The results show that people engaged with New York theatre are unrepresentative of the population and raise concerns that ethnic and religious minorities aren’t involved with Broadway. Whilst the majority of ticket-bookers are female, only 35% of Broadway investors are female and over half of investors (57%) have no children.

With swinging government cuts to the arts in the UK, it is worrying to see that private investment is only coming from a small portion of society. The findings also show that individuals give less than 1% of their net worth to theatre and have a net worth of $1 — $2.5 million. There is an opportunity for theatre to take advantage of crowdfunding in the style of Kickstarter. Last year’s Godspell on Broadway made use of this and in the UK Jamie Hendry is currently raising investment from members of the public.

Since September 23rd last year, the JOBS act has made it legal for Broadway productions to publically solicit for investment. It has eliminated the restriction on “General Solicitation and Advertising” for Rule 506 of Regulation D so hopefully people from more walks of life will consider investing in a theatre production, and not just those who earn $250,000 a year.

How do you see the future of theatre investment? Let me know in the comments below.

Originally published on January 11, 2014.