Case studies and research undertaken since the 1980s have shown that price is not the most significant barrier to arts attendance and suggests that there is scope for price increases. This article on Welsh National Opera’s experience found that for current opera-goers, a decrease in price could encourage more attendances and actually increase revenue.
Having identified that price was a significant issue, Welsh National Opera commissioned conjoint research. This complex research approach was able to calculate precise demand elasticity curves and identify critical price thresholds for particular repertoire in specific parts of an auditorium, demonstrating how a change in price would affect demand.
The research found that price did drive attendance for a significant proportion of the audience and confirmed the findings of the preliminary research. It also found that price thresholds – the main ones being at £20, £30 & £40 – applied to opera as they did elsewhere and that the £50 threshold would be a major barrier.