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New Musical Tells Story of Jesus Through Britney Spears Songs. Good Idea!?

It's the story of Jesus told entirely through the unchanged lyrics of Britney Spears songs.This will attract an audience, and here's why: I can explain it to you in the 15 words I used in the previous sentence, and it gives a lot of people something they can anchor their decision on. For some, it will be Britney Spears; for others, the story of Christ; and for a still large group, both.Familiar mixed with unfamiliar in potentially interesting ways...

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Pricing

How Not to Discount: Part III

Don't discount only your lowest-priced inventory.Today’s example of how not to discount is slightly counterintuitive because it’s easy to associate “discount” with “low price.”The mistake I’m talking about is only discounting the lowest-priced inventory in your venue. This happens because some marketers are conflating two different things: a low price and a discount from face value. They aren’t the same thing, and they function psychologically to the consumer in very different ways.A tier of seats that is inexpensive has...

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Experience

Santa Monica Pier Can Host More Than Live Music

Can the Santa Monica Pier become a great concert venue?Yes, it can. This harkens to the issue we discussed recently. Of course, changing the location of the show can make a big impact on success, and there's just not a cooler place than the Santa Monica Pier.Here's my one quibble: Why does Martin Fleischmann say, "What we're trying to do is create a destination for locals on the pier," and then talk solely about how "people here need a place...

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P&L

The Importance of Reaping Revenue From the ‘Other’ Category

In contrast to the gloomier news in other spots in the symphonic world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has reported increases in revenue from both tickets and donations and a much, much smaller operating deficit.In fact, this year's ticket sales record of just over $22 million surpassed last year's sales, which were also a record. Very interestingly, to me, about $10 mm in revenue came from what I'd call the "Other" category, which included "tour fees, merchandise sales, space rentals,...

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Experience

The Mega Rock Star Model Is Old, Let’s Find A New One

The Who 'Going Mobile' For the Last Time?Congratulations to The Who for 50 years, and even though their 1982 tour was known as their "Farewell Tour," they've continued since then for 10 years longer than they'd been together at that point.Hey, I'm a fan of the band, and all, but classic rock of this kind has hung on too long to be healthy for the business. I won't say this tour will be unsuccessful, because I don't know, but...

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Pricing

Price Has Nothing to Do With Costs

When I talk about this, people look at me puzzled. A couple years ago, Michael Kaiser, smart guy and Big Chief of the Kennedy Center, wrote an article on Huffington Post that gives me a starting point for what I want you to understand about prices:“The central challenge facing arts managers is to fill the ever-widening gap between rapidly increasing expenses and earned income, primarily from ticket sales. This gap continues to grow each year since the number of seats...

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Bright Ideas

Create An Event, and You Might Change the Place Where It Happens

I talk a lot about the interplay between event and place, and this is a great example. No event lives in a vacuum, so if you're part of an organization (or group of organizations) large enough to change the dynamics of the place where your event is (or would be), you can create a synergistic effect.In this case, Tony Hsieh of Zappos and others are working hard to create an anchor event, the Life is Beautiful Festival, to bring...

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Innovation

YouTube’s New Music Streaming Service Not Too Different

YouTube's going to be offering a service that replicates what's available from services like Spotify, Rhapsody and others that to me, with a few quirks of user interface preferences, really doesn't differ much for the consumer.But I have a hard time caring much about this. The established principle here is that there is a business model for the streaming of music online in which musicians and rights holders get paid, but what they'll get paid is pretty minimal.Why is...

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Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Spooktacular

The Word Stock Market is an occasional feature on SellingOut.com, where I will tell you whether to buy, sell or hold a certain word based on whether that word has a strong future or has seen better days. For example, if you’d bought the word “hybrid” 10 years ago (when it meant a cross between a horse and a donkey, not an eco-friendly car), you’d be rich today. On the other hand, if you’d bought “digital camera,” you’d be...

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Bright Ideas

Freebie Idea for a Hit Show

In the vein of the return of burlesque, single-ring circuses, intense haunted houses and roller derby, I’ve got a concept that the right show producer could turn into a hit.Sure, it’s nostalgic (although none of us actually remembers it), and perhaps somewhat ironic, but in keeping with shows like Teatro Zinzanni or even Shane Scheel’s For the Record shows in L.A. or Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, I can envision it being improved as a form,...

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