Sales in performing arts market top 800 bln won for first time in 2017: data

December 13, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s performing arts market, which includes musicals, plays and classical music, rebounded in 2017, apparently reflecting political and social stability after the presidential election in May that year, officials said Wednesday.

According to data released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Arts Management Service, the nation’s performing arts market grew 8.7 percent from the previous year to 813.2 billion won (US$721 million) last year.

It is the first time that the domestic performing arts market has exceeded 800 billion won in annual sales since 2007, when the government began surveying the field.

This photo provided by OD Company shows a performance of the musical Jekyll & Hyde. (Yonhap)

This photo provided by OD Company shows a performance of the musical Jekyll & Hyde. (Yonhap)

The market had grown from 759.3 billion won in 2014 to 781.5 billion won in 2015 before sliding to 748 billion won in 2016. The government survey is based on the status and performances of domestic facilities and groups, and the market size is calculated by totaling up their annual sales.

The 2017 sales by local performance facilities increased 1.9 percent from the previous year to 350 billion won, while those of performance groups swelled 14.5 percent to 463.2 billion won.

Revenues from ticket sales increased 8.9 percent to 397.4 billion won, accounting for 48.9 percent of the market’s total sales.

By genre, musicals topped the list of ticket sales with 229.6 billion won, followed by plays with 69.6 billion won, classical music with 35 billion won, Korean traditional music with 8.3 billion won, ballet with 6.4 billion won, opera with 5.7 billion won and dance with 3.9 billion won.

“The rebound in the performing arts market seems to be attributed to the rapid stabilization of the nation’s political and social circumstances after last year’s presidential election,” said a ministry official.

In contrast to the market’s sales growth, however, the quantity of performances and audiences fell last year. The number of arts performances decreased 8.5 percent to 159,401, while the total audience dropped 5.3 percent to 29.02 million people.