Title

Exploring the Determinants of Broadway Show Success

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

8-1998

Abstract

This study investigates the determinants of success of an experiential good: Broadway shows. The authors focus on the sources and types of information used in the selection of an artistic event and discuss the impact of critics' reviews on the length of a show's run and attendance. In addition, the authors empirically determine the influence of other variables, such as previews, newspaper advertising, ticket prices, show type, talent characteristics, and timing of opening. The results indicate that New York newspaper theater critics have a significant impact on the success of Broadway shows. It is also found that the newspaper critics have a differential impact, with the critic from the New York Times yielding nearly twice as much influence as critics from the Daily News or the New York Post. Theater critics, it appears, are not only predictors but influencers as well. Among the various show types, musicals appear to fare better than other categories of shows. Previews have a significant impact on the attendance, but not on the longevity, of Broadway shows. Advertising also has a significant impact on both longevity and attendance. However, the characteristics of the key talent do not have a consistently significant influence on show success. In addition, ticket prices do not have a significant relationship with either longevity or attendance. The results indicate that there is an overwhelming impact of information sources, particularly the influence of critics' reviews, on the success of Broadway shows. The authors discuss the implications of these results for the theater industry.

Discipline

Marketing

Research Areas

Marketing

Publication

Journal of Marketing Research

Volume

35

Issue

3

First Page

370

Last Page

383

ISSN

0022-2437

Identifier

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3152034