2015 Survey of Musicals ①


2015 Survey of Musicals ①
[Trends] Statistics Report

[Survey Overview]

Numerous stories involving musicals have been making headlines in different areas. In 2013, musicals were selected as one of five government-promoted “global killer content,” along with games, music, animation, and movies, and in 2014, the Presidential Committee for Cultural Enrichment proposed the Contents Industry Developing Strategies that helped facilitate OSMU (one source multi-use) trends and Hallyu content transform into musicals. At the same time, 2014 witnessed a series of industry crises, such as several production companies filing for court receivership, performance cancellations, and criticisms of the industry as being glossy and vacuous.

The lack of timely analyses or surveys of the local musical industry contrasted with the public interest displayed toward the controversies surrounding musicals in the performing arts world. In order to draw up a support plan to establish and pursue continuous growth for the industry, in 2015, the Korea Arts Management Service conducted a survey on the local musical scene over the past six years, the first of such surveys since the 2008 Survey of Musicals (2009 issue).

The present survey examined the current status of the local musical industry, production (planning) processes, audience preferences regarding musicals, and audience analyses. In addition, experts in the areas of musical composition, production, distribution, and education were interviewed.

Local Musical Market in 2014
- KRW 325.9 billion, an increase of 8.0% from 2013

According to Interpark ENT’s sales figures for performances, musicals raked in KRW 195.6 billion, or 80 percent of total performing arts revenue in 2014, where performing arts also included theater, music, classical, dance, and the traditional arts. Musicals have also demonstrated steady annual increases in the market share of the performing arts domain, while other items in the performing arts have stagnated in their market shares of sales. It should be noted that many performing arts venues do not use online reservations systems, and there are various means of acquiring tickets, so the figures from Interpark ENT cannot be considered conclusive. Nonetheless, the reported growth in market share cannot be disregarded.

Performance Group Tuida

Even though the present research team endeavored to utilize a variety of methods to investigate the musical industry market as a whole, in reality, considerable restrictions prevented this approach. As such, without deviating from research integrity, the 60 percent market share indicated through Interpark ENT’s sales figures was converted to approximate market size. Results further indicated that the musical market was worth KRW 325.9 billion in 2014, an increase of 8.0 percent from 2013. The average annual growth of 19.1 percent over the last five years demonstrated the growth of the local musical market. However, detailed time-series analyses suggested that this growth has been gradually slowing down.

Local Musical Areas in 2014
- Dip from previous year but an active scene for creative musicals 

In 2014, 545 musicals were produced, a 1.4 percent decrease from 2013, and a total of 1,341 musicals were performed, a 10.2 percent drop from the previous year. The total number of performance days numbered 29,729, a decrease of 5.2 percent from 2013. On the other hand, the average number of performance days has steadily increased over the last 12 years, with 2014 seeing an average of 22.2 performance days, a 5.7 percent increase from the previous year.

A closer look at the types of musical showed that there were 31 licensed musicals in production, a decrease of 26.2 percent from the previous year. There were a total of 87 performances of licensed musicals (a drop of 25.0 percent from 2013) and a 35.6 percent decrease in the total number of performance days to 2,499. The average number of performance days was 28.7, down 14.1 percent from 2013. On the other hand, the total number of creative musicals in production was 215 (a 2.8 percent decrease from the previous year), the total number of these performances was 383 (year-on-year growth of 4.4 percent), the total number of performing days was 12,914 days (increase of 0.8 percent from previous year), and average number of performing days 33.7 days (increase of 3.7 percent from previous year). The survey results suggested that domestic creative musicals remained active last year, despite the overall contraction of the performing arts sector.

Regardless of venue size, performance numbers were found to be declining. In 2014, medium capacity venues with between 300 to 1,000 seats were found to be the most utilized, while smaller capacity venues were preferred for performances requiring flexibility, in particular, creative and family/children musicals.

Musical Sector Still expanding Its Base

Related infrastructure had continued to expand. Various spin-offs, such as musical gala shows, musical talk shows, and musical concerts arose as the market grew, and actors and famous musical works attempted to break out into new genres.

In addition, the number of performing venues for musicals went up by 15, totaling 521 venues in 2014. Among them, 342 were located in the metropolitan areas such as Seoul, Daegu, and Busan, while 179 were in provincial areas, indicating the expanding reach of musicals. No significant differences were surveyed between the numbers of medium and large capacity venues found located in Special/Metropolitan and provincial areas.

※ Small venues: Less than 300 seating capacity, Medium venues: Between 300 to 1,000 seating capacity, Large venues: Over 1,000 seating capacity, Variable spaces: Outdoor open venues without specific set seating

To investigate the area of musical education, 9,705 current students from 138 departments related to musical performance (theater/film, music, sound) in vocational colleges were surveyed. Overall, vocational colleges have seen a decline in total student enrollment since 2012. However, while arts and physical education departments saw a reduction to 77,170 students in 2014, departments related to musical performance have enjoyed increased enrollment since 2012.   

Universities evinced the same trend. The number of university departments related to musical performance (theater and film, vocal music, music composition, other subjects related to music) has steadily increased since 2012, totaling 209 departments. Current enrollment for these departments stood at 18,741 students, a growing number that hinted at the continued interest in the performing arts.   

※ The next segment of this article can be accessed at the following link
    <2015 Survey of Musicals ②>


Kim In-jik, Research & Assessment Team_ KAMS
Kim In-jik, Research & Assessment Team_ KAMS
Kim In-jik majored in public administration and public policy, and was with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Korea Institute of S & T Evaluation and Planning before earning his current post at Research and Assessment under the Planning Department of the Korea Arts Management Service.