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Selling Out With Dan Steinberg

When Lord Chesterfield said, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today," Dan Steinberg took his advice to heart. The founder of Square Peg Concerts works around the clock, promoting live shows across the United States -- totaling about 400-plus events last year.By the time Steinberg was 16, he was producing club shows at the Mercury Café in Denver. Now, he’s moved up to putting big names on marquees, from comic Kathy Griffin and singer-songwriter Jason Mraz to...

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Marketing

More Exposure Equals More Seats Filled

This is just basically me clicking "like" on Lyn Gardner's thoughts about broadcasts not threatening the value of live theater (and I would add, of other live performance). Read it.Exposure to something compelling leads to more interest, not less. Obscurity is the enemy, not availability. Learn it, live it.

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News

Who Would Want to Keep Peter Pan in the Dark?

More people saw The Sound of Music Live! on television at the holidays last year than went to a Broadway show in the entire year. The availability and, I suspect, the popularity of the show led some people in what I think of as the Theater Suicide Cult to find any way at all to criticize the production and snipe about the various qualities of the performers.Just imagine the fits they had when they heard that NBC is perpetrating...

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Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Immersive

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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News

Uptick in Vinyl Sales Proves Value of Recorded Music Headed to Zero

In another universe, I'm one of the people cheering and holding a pennant that sales "Vinyl!" on it.But in this one, I'm just not that gullible. When we talked about music sales recently, I knew that people would take the bait on the deceptive infographic showing the "explosion" of sales of recordings on vinyl. Up 33%, while digital is down 8%! Of course, you don't need a degree in statistics to look just slightly deeper at those numbers and...

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P&L

Doing Pretty Well for Somebody Who’s Dead

Cincinnati is a small market, not known for fabulous wealth or la-di-da citizenry. In 2009, according to this article, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, like many orchestras nationally, was "facing an existential question" and " ... had to make dramatic course corrections quickly for us to continue on," according to Trey Devey of the CSO.They focused on growing audiences, not necessarily ticket buyers but those aware and engaged with them in any form, to grow the financial base. They increased...

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News

2014 Trends: What’ll Get You Going Out More

Now that 2014 is underway, here’s what to expect more of this year.• Large-Scale, Real-Time Entertainment: Like NBC’s live performance of The Sound of Music. Blogger Deb Rox says, “Twitter has transformed everything from sporting events, awards shows, series final episodes and political debates into massive fan experiences, and audiences crave more.” She predicts we’ll see more of these events with more meaningful ways to participate.• Mockbusters: This is the second time in 10 minutes I’ve read about the made-for-TV...

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Bright Ideas

Concert Window Founder Dan Gurney at TedxBroadway 2014

If you haven’t yet heard of Concert Window, here’s the scoop: You can webcast your performance from a venue or your living room all around the world. Musicians can make extra money and gain fans worldwide, and viewers can chat with others while enjoying the best seat in the house. And you can stream or watch on your smartphone, tablet or Apple TV.There are over 100 exclusive concerts a month -- 210 shows in the next 30 days, to...

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News

What Reinvention Sounds Like

Slate's Mark Vanhoenacker has declared classical music "dead" in America. I'm not sure if there are other continents or republics where it's all the rage, but here in the U.S.A., it's not just in trouble. It's deceased, passed on, bereft of life.As John Cleese would say, it's an "ex-parrot."This, of course, is an exaggeration, but only technically. Both financially and in terms of cultural relevance, it's bad, and there are very few arrows pointing up.But here's my theory. Death...

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Marketing

An Unexpected Upside to Niche Programming

Programming content for a venue has more impact than probably anything else on sales. A lot of people approach this with the assumption that it's best to appeal to more people -- as many and as broad a group as possible.Funnily enough, it often works the other way around. Narrowing the focus of your content to a group that can seem unbelievably small can be even more effective. An off-Broadway show called Craving For Travel (bit of an awkward...

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