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Marketing

An Unexpected Upside to Niche Programming

Programming content for a venue has more impact than probably anything else on sales. A lot of people approach this with the assumption that it's best to appeal to more people -- as many and as broad a group as possible.Funnily enough, it often works the other way around. Narrowing the focus of your content to a group that can seem unbelievably small can be even more effective. An off-Broadway show called Craving For Travel (bit of an awkward...

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Marketing

Gateway Drugs and the Theater

This article from The New York Times talks about the new play Bronx Bombers, which is about the New York Yankees and their long, glorious history. Much of the talk when it comes to this kind of thing is that it can be used to get people who would not otherwise go to a play to go to a play. In effect, it can be used as a gateway drug to other, “harder” stuff.If it’s used as “bait” before...

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Marketing

Everything Is Marketing, Including Start Times

Check out this article about the change in start times on different kinds of shows. Here’s a key quote:“Empires rose and empires fell, but if there was one thing the world could depend on, it was the 8 p.m. curtain time for theater, opera, and classical music performances. That, however, was back in the 20th century.In the 21st century, if you don't check daily listings, you may be late for Act One. Though the Philadelphia Orchestra holds steady with...

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Experience

Don’t Tell Me You’re Not Doing This for an Audience

Because if that were true, you’d do it at home or in a closed studio.Dan Visconti, whom I’ve never met, has written a piece that, if I were an expert in classical music, I might have written. It’s called “The Audience Is the Most Important Instrument," and you should read the whole thing.I don’t even want to add much to it, except to say that there’s a term I use that matches the sentiment Dan expresses: audience-oriented. Everyone in...

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Fans

“The Hobbit” Offers Fans a Way to Love Them Even More

One of the most powerful things you can do in many cases is to charge more. If you've got any kind of audience at all, part of that audience likes you and is willing to pay you more if you have something more that you can offer them.This ticket package to the movie The Hobbit may or may not be a huge success, but given the size and passion of its worldwide audience, there's almost certainly a market that...

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News

Will “Spider-Man” Be Better in an Arena?

This story says there's a good chance that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will go on an arena tour at some point in the future. We already know that the Broadway run is closing and that plans are in the works, and have been for some time, to develop a sit-down performance in Las Vegas. But news about an arena tour is new.I have two concerns about this, but I don't really know anything about what's planned for the...

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News

The Sound of Audience

Last Thursday night, 18.5 million people watched The Sound of Music performed live on television.Last season, 11.5 million people saw any show on Broadway.Quibble about the performances. Quibble about the production. Say (correctly) that the two experiences are not the same. Say (correctly) that you can’t monetize a TV viewing the same way you can monetize a theater visit.But here’s what it comes down to.When the only way to experience the product is in the building, you’re not losing...

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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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