Under the Big Top: Circus Operators in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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As consumer spending declined during the recession, consumers became more selective about spending disposable income and attended circuses less. To stay afloat, circus operators offered discounts and specials to attract new visitors. In the next five years, an improving economy and declining unemployment will bolster consumer spending, particularly on recreational activities like visits to circuses. Industry profitability is expected to improve during the next five years as a result of increasing demand for circus shows, growing public interest in contemporary circus and rising disposable income levels, allowing companies to charge higher prices for their shows. The industry will continue to face challenges, though, particularly coming from animal rights advocates that seek to ban the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Circuses Operators industry to its growing industry report collection.

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Consumers became more selective about spending, so circuses took a hit

From the first modest performance in Philadelphia in 1793 to the turn of the 21st century, the Circuses Operators industry has evolved from traveling troubadours and one-ringed satires to corporate enterprises and high-tech theatrical productions. “Today, more than ever before, circus operators are facing increased competition from an abundance of free or less expensive entertainment options,” says IBISWorld analyst Anna Son, pointing to examples such as concerts, festivals, sports, other shows and even the internet. In addition, skyrocketing unemployment rates and falling disposable income levels resulted in lower consumer spending and contributed to the industry's weak performance over the five years to 2012. During this period, IBISWorld estimates revenue has declined at an average annual rate of 0.2% to $562.5 million.

As consumer spending declined during the recession, consumers became more selective about spending disposable income. To stay afloat, circus operators offered discounts and special deals to attract new visitors. “This tactic, in turn, eroded the average firm's profit margin,” says Son. “Furthermore, operators that featured wild animals in their shows, such as big cats and elephants, faced higher operating losses because the costs of running a circus with animals are much higher than human-only circuses.” Because some people opted to go to circuses over more expensive entertainment options, such as visiting Disneyland, the industry's annual decline was kept relatively low. Because the Circus Operators industry’s top two operators, Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily, dominate the market, smaller underperforming circuses have been acquired or were forced to shut down. IBISWorld expects these trends to continue in the next five years as competition intensifies, pushing up overall industry concentration.

In the next five years, an improving economy and declining unemployment will bolster consumer spending, particularly on entertainment activities like visits to circuses. Industry profitability is expected to improve during the next five years as a result of increasing demand for circus shows, growing public interest in contemporary circus and rising disposable income levels, allowing companies to charge higher prices for their shows. The industry will continue to face challenges, though, particularly coming from animal rights advocates that seek to ban the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses. Stringent regulations regarding ethical treatment of animals raise the costs of industry operators whose shows rely on animals. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Circus Operators in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Companies in this industry produce live circus shows, which are typically performed by a company of traveling performers who may include, acrobats, clowns, musicians, trained animals, jugglers and other stunt-based artists. In addition to producing events, operators may also manage and promote circuses.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.com or call 1-800-330-3772.

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