Is Live Entertainment a Competitive Field?

“World Wrestling Championships,” © 2009 US Army, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

“World Wrestling Championships,” © 2009 US Army, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

There’s something sinister about the question “Who’s your competition?”

On the one hand, it’s simple enough. If you’re the RED cola maker, then the BLUE cola maker is your enemy. Metaphorically, if the RED cola ship wandered into the same water as the BLUE cola ship, they’d go at each other with cannon and gun ’til somebody won.

So who’s your competition? Who would you shake your fist at angrily and say “Bastards!”?

And furthermore, given the Convenience Gap faced by all of live entertainment, does it make sense if the “bad guys” are another live entertainment venue?

I think not.

Here’s what I’ve learned in 12 years of selling millions of tickets to millions of people: the success of another live entertainment venue, if anything, contributes slightly to your success. The biggest problem in live entertainment and arts is the unwillingness and unfamiliarity that too many people have with shows, events and live content that they would almost certainly love.

Not the fact that they prefer the RED venue instead of your BLUE venue.

So what do I say when people ask me who Goldstar’s competition is?

I say “inertia.” I say TV, the Internet, and pay-per-view. I say Candy Crush and fiddling around on Facebook on a perfectly good Thursday evening.

Once a person gets into the habit of going out, it tends to stick, and they go looking for new things to do. (Especially — ahem — if there’s somebody helping them find great stuff and go out more, but you knew that.)

Competition? The reality that probably only 5% of the people who would love what you are doing are actually showing up at your venue.

Now there’s something I can shake an angry fist at!

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