Think Twice Before You Complain About Sales

This infographic about music sales in 2013 is designed to entertain you, but I think it needs a headline. I'll give it one now:Recorded Music Sales Shrink Again.Let's give it a subhed or two:Even Most Popular Albums Sell Relatively Few Copies. Digital Formats No Longer Growing in Sales.Remember this whenever you start feeling a little whine coming on because you're in the live entertainment business.

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The Real Battle is Getting People Out More

Stephen Wood is the executive director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the UK and though he likes the National Theatre’s NT Live broadcasts of some of its theater productions, he wants to make sure they're not a "substitute" for actually going to the theater.We cover this topic a lot. As a rule, increasing the ability for people to get access to something makes them "consume" more of it and think about it more. The bigger worry by far, as...

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No Breakthroughs Without Risks and Failures

London seems to be leading the way in shows that very actively engage all five senses. First, there was the fireworks show, and now there are the BitterSuite symphonies.It's a classical concert that makes you smell, touch and taste things as part of the program. Lindsey Winship of The Guardian (UK) describes it like this: "The audience were blindfolded and fed different sensory experiences in parallel with the music: fizzy pop and cola bottles for the effervescent second movement...

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Bright Ideas

“Nonprofit” Doesn’t Mean You Have to Be a Financial Wreck

I would simply like to call your attention to this very strong piece, titled "Is Your Nonprofit Theater Headed for its Final Curtain Call?" by Allan Vella of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, that, despite the dire title, is not so much about an organization facing its “final curtain” as it is about some very practical, sound and concrete tips for running a nonprofit arts organization.But before I give way, I’d like to say, Allan, that I’m going to flatter myself...

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Is Accessibilty Everything?

I’m old enough to sympathize with and enjoy the somewhat grumpy premise of this piece by Wendy Earle about how technology designed to help people understand and enjoy museums is actually ruining the experience.But when it comes down to it, I can’t buy it. Museums full of “dingy display cabinets … displayed with very few labels” may appeal to a purist or an expert or a super enthusiast, but not to a broader group.Some people would say that’s fine,...

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Onstage Technology Can Do More Than Just Raise the Dead

I love the fact that the technology being used to put realistic animations of deceased stars like Tupac and Sinatra onstage is based on an invention from the 19th century!This isn’t exactly new news. The Tupac thing first happened a couple years ago now, and it has not really progressed a lot since then. The market for bringing back the dead is bigger today than the technology can handle, but that won’t always be the case. We’ll be able...

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Three Ways to Look at Tourists Dominating Broadway Sales

Theatremania calls it “well over half," but a more accurate characterization is two-thirds of tickets sold to Broadway shows are to people who are not from New York. How should Broadway think about this?• It’s a problem. The home market is huge and full of theater consumers. Local customers are cheaper to reach and easier to get to repeat. Being more successful with them would mean a more reliable and profitable baseline for the Broadway theater ecosystem.• It’s a...

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Consumers Getting Wise to Primary-Secondary Market Shenanigans

A man in New Jersey who bought some pretty expensive tickets to the Super Bowl is suing the NFL for not releasing more tickets to be sold to the general public.His claim is that, according to New Jersey law, at least five percent of tickets must be available for regular people to buy.I don’t know anything about the merits of his case, but it shows that consumers are getting savvy to the idea that the primary market sellers (in...

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“Binge-Going Out”

Chanelle Bessette of Fortune wrote a nice piece about the work that Goldstar and other companies (including Eventbrite) are doing to get people going out more.I want the article to speak for itself and you should read it, but the one thing Chanelle said that I want to highlight is the comparison between “binge-watching” TV shows on Netflix and “binge-going out,” which we (and others, but mostly we) are trying to facilitate.Cool idea! I’m in support of it.

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Perception Revision Time: Hockey Is Hot!

Not that many years ago, the NHL had a catastrophic lockout, losses were huge, contraction of the number of teams was looming and there was a small but existent chance that the league wouldn’t make it. The entire 2004-2005 season was canceled, and if you’d asked me then, I’d have said the NHL would survive, but it would fall off the “top shelf” of professional sports leagues in the U.S.I’d have been wrong.With 15 teams averaging 100% attendance or...

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