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Why are nightclubs across the USA reporting their worst numbers in years?  One word – millennials.

That generation that was born between 1977 and 1994, that grew up with cellphones and social media, and in record numbers, favors experiences over material things.  In other words, the group that nightclubs salivate over.  So why is attendance down at nightclubs from coast to coast?

Multiple studies show millennials are seeking their entertainment elsewhere.  A survey by ULI/Lachman Associates show that only slightly more than 60% of all millennials spend time at nightclubs. Of that 60%, only 25% spend time at nightclubs more than once a month.  And then, it’s typically for a special occasion, or featured performance.  Only in tourist meccas like Las Vegas and New York City is the nightclub world faring better.

According to another report issued by IBIS World Bar Business & Nightclub Business Industry, bar and nightclub revenue fell 9.3% in 2009 following The Great Recession.  While other segments of the entertainment industry have been able to climb back out of that hole, nightclubs are still suffering.

Other factors include a difficult job market for millennials in recent years, coupled with a growing market for social engagement and coupling on apps like Tinder.  The need for face-to-face meet up spots is just not as necessary for this generation.  Instant gratification has moved into the social space, making immediate swipes and selfie approvals the new normal.

Fortunately, the interactive entertainment industry, which offers a higher degree of customized involvement and personal choice, rather than the primarily passive experience of most nightclub atmospheres, is benefitting from an increased market share of millennial customers.

At SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL Dueling Pianos, 2015 has brought in record numbers of customers in the 21-38 age demographic, from birthday groups, bachelorettes and girls’ nights attending the ongoing Saturday night Dueling Pianos shows, and bookings for private events, where the coveted millennial market is looking for an activity that gives them more control and engagement.

With a flexibility in music options that include current country, top 40 and hip-hop, Dueling Piano bars seemed poised to appeal to this plug-in-and-play generation, who no longer needs to head to the disco to hear the latest hits.