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Pricing

A Quick History of Prices of Live Entertainment

A quick history of the last 20 years or so of prices for live entertainment:At first, prices were relatively low. In my opinion, we had just turned the corner into what many think of as an Experience Economy, and so the value that people placed on live experiences began to rise.Shortly thereafter, consumers’ expectations of what a live experience could be followed the new prices upward, which also drove costs upward, which drove ticket prices upward.In concerts and sports,...

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Pricing

What Happens When Prices Plummet?

Prince is on a tear.He’s dropped his lawsuit against about 20 of his fans who he accused of selling bootlegged recordings, and now he’s talking about doing shows for $10 a ticket.He’s still a major draw, though it would appear his hit-making days are behind him. He’s richer than astronauts and first-name famous. Not only that, but he’s got artistic and popular cred in abundance.That means Prince does whatever he does because he feels like it, because it meets...

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Pricing

Pricing Is Yucky

"Yucky" is a really useful catch-all term that little kids use to describe things that they just don't want to have anything to do with. I remember my own toddlers would describe various things as yucky, which didn't mean they smelled bad or had some horrible sticky substance all over them. It just meant they weren't interested and couldn't be made to get interested.I have a theory that a lot of the mistakes and misconceptions that people make about...

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Pricing

Gross Potential Means Almost Nothing

Using the same logic as people who measure and manage "gross potential" when it comes to ticket sales, I went to the gym yesterday. I looked at a big stack of weights and, feeling intimidated, guessed that the most I could possibly lift was 250 pounds.And guess what? I lifted it! In other words, I reached 100% of my gross potential weightlifting.So I went back today, and feeling confident from past results, I guessed that I could lift 300...

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Pricing

Variable Pricing Is a No-Brainer

With the Super Bowl yesterday, we're reminded of how the NFL is a juggernaut, culturally and commercially. Half the country watched the game, including tens of millions of people who don't even like football!This kind of power has a few funny effects, of course, and I think one of them has been a certain amount of arrogance about ticket sales. The NFL has, for a number of years, been such a ticket sales sure thing that even slight weaknesses...

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Pricing

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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Pricing

Broadway Sales Go Crazy Over Christmas

A few amazing highlights of the Broadway box office numbers from the week of Christmas:• Wicked breaks $3 million on nine performances. That’s more than $300,000 every time that curtain goes up. Average paid ticket price was $184.50. Wow. • A play (not a musical) did $1.4 million. That was Betrayal, starring Daniel Craig. • Four other musicals broke $2 million, a number that a few years ago seemed unattainable. Those shows were: Kinky Boots, Spider-Man, Lion King and, of course,...

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Pricing

Individualized Dynamic Pricing Could Boost Attendance and Revenue

In summary, the Children's Museum of Tacoma moved to a "Pay As You Will" model a few years ago and saw BOTH attendance and revenue go up. Attendance has tripled, but, if you do the math, revenue has increased by only 50%. "Only."That's interesting enough, but let's look at it differently. In a way, it's dynamic pricing taken to the individual level. Dynamic pricing is an attempt to change a price to reflect the level of supply and demand...

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Pricing

How Not to Discount: Part IV

Don't punish buyers who have come to your venue on a discount ticket.The fourth way that you shouldn’t do discounting is to do it in such a way that it’s designed to punish the people buying your discount tickets. This is done by, for example, putting them in the last row of the house when other sections are available, making them wait to be seated after the "regular" patrons have been seated or otherwise creating a little reminder that...

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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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