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2015 Survey of Musicals ②
2015 Survey of Musicals ②
Writer : Kim In-jik, Research & Assessment Team_ KAMS 2015.08.18 Asia > Korea

2015 Survey of Musicals ②
[Trends] Statistics Report


Continued efforts in pursuing overseas markets to seek new growth

The years from 2012 to 2014 were a new landmark for local musicals as they actively tried to make inroads into foreign markets. Their presence in the U.S. and U.K. scenes, such as the Edinburgh Festival, sharply dropped, and they turned to the Asian market, particularly Japan and China. A total of 13 productions were performed over three years in China alone, while Japan emerged as the second biggest market for local musicals, after domestic consumption.

Performance Group Tuida

Upon closer examination, there seemed to be three categories of domestic musicals making waves in overseas Asian markets: creative musicals on international tours, tours of licensed foreign productions, and the export of creative musicals’ performing rights and international co-productions. The first category involves a production team, cast, and other crew members visiting the overseas performing venue for a scheduled period; examples of this kind of overseas market expansion included productions of Laundry, Run to You, Gwanghwamun Sonata, and All the Brothers were Valiant in Japan, and Turandot, Song of 2 Flowers, and Gwanghwamun Sonata 2 in China.

Tours of licensed foreign productions involves adapting and reinterpreting the original work for export purposes. The injection of star marketing or fostering a Hallyu connection made these productions extremely popular, especially with Japanese audiences.

Lastly, we have the export of creative musicals’ performing rights and international co-productions. In 2012, a Japanese version of Singin in the Rain was produced, and in 2013, Finding Mr. Destiny was adapted into a Chinese version and titled Finding First Love. Numbers of this kind of productions are still low, but this area remains promising for future growth. As for international co-productions, one notable case was CJ E&M’s collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Culture in 2013 to produce A Feast for the Princess with both a Korean and Chinese cast.

Survey Results for Musical Productions
- Labor costs (cast, crew) account for largest portion of expenses

At an average of KRW 7.333 billion, original productions in large capacity venues suggested the most costs were incurred in the production (planning) of local musicals. Following this were costs run by licensed productions in large venues (KRW 3.217 billion) and creative musicals in large venues (KRW 2.887 billion).

Performance Group Tuida

A closer examination of the main costs provided the following breakdown for creative musicals: securing actors (23.9 percent), production costs (17.8 percent), venue rentals (17.5 percent), and crew member salaries (15.3 percent). As for licensed musicals, the main costs were securing actors (25.0 percent), production costs (22.7 percent), venue rental (16.1 percent), crew payroll (14.6 percent), and public relations/marketing costs (12.4 percent) 

Performance Group Tuida

As original musicals often involve inviting international performing groups to domestic venues, their production costs vary slightly in nature compared to other types of musical productions. As with creative and licensed productions in Korea, original musicals also incur the most costs with cast and crew payments. Surveyed details found that cast and crew payments comprised the most costs at 26.7 percent, followed by contract agent fees (22.3 percent), and production and others (12.7 percent).

Performance Group Tuida

Survey of Audiences of Musicals
- Prefer licensed musicals, although preferences depend on frequency of viewing

The survey found that audiences enjoyed licensed musicals (35.0 percent), creative musicals (23.2 percent), and original productions (16.9 percent). A portion of musical patrons (24.8 percent) indicated no particular preference. Survey outcomes implied that patron preference for musical type depended on the frequency of watching musicals, with patrons displaying the highest viewing frequency preferring domestic creative musicals, those of medium frequency enjoying licensed foreign musicals, and those of low viewing frequency preferring visiting performances by original casts in Korea.

Performance Group Tuida

※ Frequency of watching musicals: This can be divided into the following three groups
  - High Frequency (patronizes some sort of cultural arts performances at least twice a month + musicals at least once a month)
- Medium Frequency (patronizes some sort of cultural arts performances once in 2-3 months + musicals at least once in 4-5 months)
  - Low Frequency (patronizes some sort of cultural arts performances once in 6 months + musicals less than once a year) 

Top factors considered by audiences when selecting a musical were cast (80.7 percent), plot (64.3 percent), and music (49.7 percent). Cast was shown to positively correlate with musical viewing frequency, with those watching musicals often placing increasing importance on the cast, while patrons of medium viewing frequency placed more emphasis on ‘plot.’

Performance Group Tuida

※ Frequency of watching musicals: This can be divided into the following three groups
  - High Frequency (patronizes some sort of cultural arts performances at least twice a month + musicals at least once a month)
- Medium Frequency (patronizes some sort of cultural arts performances once in 2-3 months + musicals at least once in 4-5 months)
  - Low Frequency (patronizes some sort of cultural arts performances once in 6 months + musicals less than once a year) 

Expert Opinions Regarding Musicals
- Changing challenges to opportunities, and opportunities to strengths

Industry experts noted a stable and steadily growing consumer base as one of Korea’s prominent strengths. In addition, compared to overseas markets, the domestic consumer base is young, with local talent and capacity greatly improving. In all, they opined an optimistic outlook for the domestic musical industry. However, some obstacles lying in wait included worsening finances due to increasing actor fees , oversupply from excessive production, insufficient market data to promote investment and revitalization, domestic market growth led by licensed foreign productions, and a scene that is overly sensitive to external economic fluctuations.

Performance Group Tuida

This report provided a general overview of the current status of the local musical industry. This year, 2015, appears to be a turning point for the industry as its high-speed growth starts to halt. The public sector’s aggressive support to vitalize the market and the private sector’s investments to develop overseas markets and new audiences should continue. These concentrated efforts will make 2015 a progressive year for the local musical industry.   

Reference link
Download report for ‘2015 Survey of Musicals’(based on 2014) in Korean



기고자프로필

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.
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http://eng.theapro.kr

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