What Show-Score’s Five Most Popular Category Searches Say About Our Members

Show-Score | By Tom Melcher, Show-Score CEO | Sep 13, 2016

There are 223 shows that are running now or coming soon in NYC (way more than most people think) listed on Show-Score today. But what categories do our members click on when they're trying to find the right shows for them?

To make it easier to discover a show you’ll love, we designed a powerful filter that lets you zero in on what you like (to find it, click on "SHOWS" in the top nav, then click on "Filter Shows"):

For kicks, we decided to analyze what “subjects” our members are looking for. The results were surprising:

Seven insights stood out to us as we sifted through the data:

  • 5 of the 11 categories are so much more popular than all the others. This is not because of their placement in the user interface as we list them alphabetically.

  • The top 5 are almost equally popular, and the bottom 6 are almost equally not popular. In most charts like this, you typically see a gradual decline in popularity.

  • The top 5 are not intuitively obvious. Said differently, if you saw the list of 11 categories without the numbers, would you guess that “Mystery / Thriller” was so much more popular than “Romance” or “Modern Classic” or “Relationships”?

  • “New Work” is at the top of the list. Once again, I’m thrilled, since I have a special soft spot for the risk-taking inherent in new work. But who would have guessed that it would be the most popular filter?

  • “Current Issues” is one of the most clicked on categories. People are looking for theater that reflect our times, that is relatable, resonant, and allows us to process our world today through an artistic lens.

  • “Shakespeare / Classical” is so high. Don’t get me wrong—I’m glad to see that the classics are so well-appreciated! Our member’s appetite for this kind of theater really speaks to the universality of our classical canon.

  • “Book / movie-based” is so low. The conventional wisdom is that theatrical versions of books and movies do well (which is supported by box office tallies) yet our members aren’t looking for those shows when they filter.  

Now of course, the type of person who is using these filters to narrow down which shows they’ll see next is not the “typical” theatergoer. He or she is probably well aware of the “obvious” choices, and is using our filter tool to uncover hidden gems. It’s also clear that these categories don’t generally map to what is commercially successful, or even to what is plentiful in the NYC theater scene.

All that said, I’m fascinated by these patterns—they’re a window into the minds of very active theater fans.  

So if you’re an artist doing new work about current issues in a mysterious way that’s also raunchy and inspired by Shakespeare, then take heart! There are Show-Score members looking for you!