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Experience

Is This an Age of Blockbusters in Live Entertainment?

This piece makes a very compelling case for the death of the “Long Tail” and the fact that we are in the age of the blockbuster.Not only do I believe it, but I’ve been saying for years that the Long Tail is mostly myth.If you’re producing live entertainment, you understand this. When The Book of Mormon comes into your market, it’s going to get disproportionate attention. When the Red Sox are in the playoffs, that will dominate people’s thoughts.But...

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Marketing

You Can’t Kill Demand for a Product by Giving It to More People

Imagine professional basketball as a business that’s exactly the same as it is now, except that you couldn’t watch a game if you weren’t in the stadium when the game happened.Would it make the live product more valuable? Would the teams suddenly make a fortune charging for tickets, merchandise, food and beverages? Or, would it be a business constantly flirting with financial disaster, looking for ways to “build its audience”?Bet on the latter. With live competition alone, the NBA...

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Marketing

Being Curious About Your Audience is a Good Marketing Tool

This is an outstanding, detailed report on Houston's Astrodome, which was the first domed stadium and was at one time called the "eighth wonder of the world."It's been unused for the last several years, and it appears that it will continue to sit empty with the cost to rehabilitate it too high to justify, given that nobody has a concept for putting it to use that would justify the expense.It sits next to the modern Reliant Stadium, which hosts...

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News

Every Arts Organization Should Have This Key Goal

This article evaluates the work of the National Center for Arts Research, which tries to "determine what constitutes success for an arts group." I think that's a worthwhile effort, though of course, and I'm sure the NCAR would agree, it's really up to the organization to determine its own goals and then try to make them happen.I dislike the presumption, which comes out in the article, that arts organizations don't have clear-cut goals and that businesses do. Businesses have...

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P&L

Orchestras, First Step to Financial Health is Happy Audiences

Don't expect the drumbeat of financial trouble for orchestras to stop.Here are a couple quotes that I think are helpful in thinking about the long-term resolution of this. First, from the Chairman of the orchestra's board, "Despite the Brooklyn Philharmonic's tremendous artistic successes over the last couple of years, the orchestra continues to experience financial difficulties."If an organization's definition of artistic success diverges too much from the definition of its audience or the potential audience that it needs, those...

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News

Broadway Shows Add Thursday Matinees to Meet Audience Needs

If you're going to have a matinee during the week, Thursday certainly seems like a better choice than Wednesday. I don't have any actual information to back this up, but I'm guessing that the Wednesday matinee tradition was established for a good reason. It just might be that no one remembers what that reason was. Or maybe they do. I should ask Ken Davenport.Thursday has really come up in the world. Formerly just another roadblock to the weekend, Thursday...

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Experience

Orchestras Will Survive and Thrive By Putting Audiences First

Orchestras and classic rock have something in common: As we currently know them, their best days have passed. This just came up recently, but the topic has resurfaced in the form of the question, "Are there too many orchestras?"To which I once again say, wrong question. Here's a tidbit from the article that's worth noting:"Unlike Europe, where classical music is considered almost a ward of the state, North American musical life has always depended in large part on private...

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News

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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News

Priority No. 1 Should Be Developing Audiences

Milwaukee Symphony in crisis -- again.Greg Sandow, call your office.I hate to be harsh, but the orchestral world must obsess about delighting and developing audiences as much as it obsesses about saving orchestras. Audience first.

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Experience

Is Less More in Opera?

I found this article intriguing (and, Lynn Binstock, I would love to give you a forum to talk about this more here on Selling Out), but I’m not sold on the basic premise.Of course, a show (like a company) can have so many resources that it wastes them, or even allow a surplus of resources to blind them, but it doesn’t follow that removing resources makes something more appealing. In the article, Lynn says that her stripped-down and open-hearted...

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