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Marketing

Live Rules! (But Don’t Get Cocky)

I used to have to convince people that live performance was the leading category in the entertainment business, but I hardly have to do that anymore. This is especially true in music, where it doesn’t take an expert to see that sales of recordings are sad and not due to rebound to past levels … well, ever.So live is where it’s at. Hooray for us! But this article reminded me that the real strength of a business model comes...

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Marketing

Dramatic Improvements in the Technology That Powers B.S. Detectors

There’s no question that portable technologies have improved dramatically since the early '90s: mobile phones and computers existed then, but they work so much better now and everybody has them. In fact, they take these super-sophisticated tools with them everywhere they go.But that’s not the only technology of which you can make that statement, and this one is as important or perhaps even more important to modern marketers than computers and mobile phones.Of course, I’m talking about today’s high-tech...

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ICYMI

In Case You Missed It …

A few stories from this week that we found interesting …Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy shared an important lesson about pricing. Make sure you're not making this mistake.Disney announced new policies for same-day tickets for Aladdin and Newsies. Michael Gioia at Playbill has the full story.Lyn Gardner at The Guardian asks if theater critics need to widen the shows they choose to critique beyond the "obvious."Alexandra Coghlan of New Statesman shares her experience at one of the most intimate opera...

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Bright Ideas

Kids Shows That Get It

Earlier today Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy talked about creating children's entertainment that appeals to both kids and adults. Noted authors J.R.R. Tolkien, Maurice Sendak and Neil Gaiman are all on board with the idea and we found a few live entertainment shows that are as well.According to Goldstar reviewers, these shows are great examples of entertainment that's just fun -- plain and simple, no matter what your age:From Family Improv Comedy Show in Atlanta:"My family loved our night out...

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Experience

More about Making Great Work for Children

A couple weeks ago, I talked about how children are a great audience for live entertainment that isn’t being served well, and a lot of people responded supportively to this idea.Thinking more about that, one of the reasons that not enough of this content is being produced is that there’s a false assumption that if it’s “for” children, it isn’t “for” non-children. Being almost entirely non-children themselves, the people who produce this kind of content want to program for...

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Marketing

The Strength of Unbalance

Recently, I talked about how some Broadway marketers are troubled by the relative lack of straight men coming to Broadway shows compared to the past. The thought there is that these men are a good, lucrative audience that they’re missing.That may well be true, but hidden inside that thought is the assumption that it would be better to have a “balanced” audience of men and women, or at least something closer to balance.Sometimes though, balance doesn’t make sense or...

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Experience

Why Live Event Venues Are Never Full for Long, and Why That’s OK

Fifty percent of seats for live entertainment go unsold. Or is it 40 percent, or maybe 35? Different analysts and executives from major ticketing organizations have been quoted over the years at different numbers, but let’s just agree that it’s a substantial percentage, and a staggering raw number.But it’s also a classic “glass (or venue) half-full or half-empty” kind of question. Is the unsold seat total a bad thing, or is it more complex than that?Let’s work through it....

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ICYMI

In Case You Missed It

• Words are powerful, but when you use the wrong words to describe your business you might as well be speaking nonsense. Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy explains why words like "guest" aren't the right way to go in live entertainment.• The Royal Opera aims to grab a younger audience by slashing prices and performing a risqué show for opening night. And that's only the beginning …• Earlier this week, we chatted with artistic director Jack Reuler from Mixed Blood...

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News

Don’t Play That Funky Muzak

You hear it everywhere -- the grocery store, subway stations, the doctor's office -- smooth jazz or classical music, derisively referred to as "muzak." You probably just tune it out most of the time, but apparently there's a very real reason it's playing, at least in certain places.Some experts believe playing classical music not only creates a soothing ambiance, but also drives away vagrants and vandals. A recent story on WQXR shed some light on the practice, and writes...

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Selling Out With

Selling Out With Jack Reuler

Is "free cheaper than cheap"? For Mixed Blood Theatre in the Twin Cities, it seems to be. Its admission initiative called "Radical Hospitality" allows anyone to attend a show for free. Three seasons of the campaign is paying off with increased popularity and donations.After hearing about the program on HowlRound.com, we spoke with Mixed Blood Theatre artistic director Jack Reuler. He shared further insights into what aspects of the program are working, what they're continuing to tweak and what...

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