Updates: September 2019

August-September, 2019 (The Summer Download)

We’ve been busy enjoying the summer, here’s what we missed.

CHAPTER 22 (Theatre Owners)

Theatre Owners maintain an Operations team to ensure that the physical venue is in working order and to certify that the house staff is well-trained and ready to assist patrons. Cleanliness is high on the list, as you might expect. The team also checks digital signage and marquees to make sure they’re in working order.Making the rounds helps put fresh eyes on the theatres to identify issues that could otherwise be missed, and being present with the house staff builds a better team. Each owner has their own procedures but the goal is to ensure that Broadway theatergoers have the best experience possible.

CHAPTER 22 (Theatre Owners)

The Palace Theatre on the corner of West 47th St. and Broadway (called “the most trafficked corner in the Western Hemisphere”), is currently closed due to a ridiculously adventurous and risky project titled “TSX Broadway”. The theatre and the entire building above it will be raised 3 stories in the air. According to Business Insider: “Twenty two cents of every tourist dollar is spent in Times Square. That level of commercialization is really powerful, for a brand to be able to be associated with a place that is authentic, that everybody has memories of, that everybody goes to when they come to New York.” Adding commercial space underneath the iconic theatre is expected to bring massive income to the building’s owners. Otherwise, why in G-d’s name would anyone try this?

CHAPTER 10 (Producing and Investing) 

CHAPTER 18 (General and Company Managers)

2019’s ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ has 70 songs credited to 161 writers. Which meant that along with its recognizable Broadway stars … the musical’s key players would include the team in charge of song rights and clearances. … Ms. Pavlovic brought in Janet Billig Rich, a producer with a deep well of experience in the music industry, to help with the clearances. The show had to obtain what is called a “grand rights license” for each composition, which allows for music to be used in the context of a narrative. The permissions and costs vary depending on how much of an individual song is in the musical and for how long.

CHAPTER 9 (Selling a Big Hit)

CHAPTER 13 (Box office)

CHAPTER 18 (Producing and investing)

CHAPTER 22 (General and Company Managers)

Starting in Philly and coming to Broadway…

How to protect the public against bots and brokers: Hamilton opens in Philly for a 12-week run at the Forrest Theatre. With tens of thousands of tickets to sell, they wanted to ensure that the shopping experience was smooth and that the majority of inventory went to real fans (not bots and brokers). Here’s what they did:

REGISTRATION & VERIFICATION: Keep ticket limits strict—four tickets per household—and customers register for the chance to buy a ticket. This gave them the opportunity to use certification software to weed out duplicate, bogus, or nefarious registrations and only open up the onsale to legitimate customers.

SINGLE-USE CODES: Those legit customers were emailed a one-time-use code on the morning of the onsale which allowed them (and only them) to purchase up to four tickets online or by phone. After the initial 9:00 rush, we sent more codes to customers on several waitlists.

ONLINE WAITING ROOM: In order to accommodate tens of thousands of customers at the same time, we implemented a queueing system. Any customers waiting at 9am were assigned a random queue number to make sure that is was fair and efficient.

BOX OFFICE WRISTBANDS: This was our most low-tech solution, but at the box office, we handed out colored wristbands corresponding to a purchase time. People lined up in the morning, picked their wristband randomly out of a bag, and came back to purchase at their assigned time. Customers didn’t have to stand in line all day, and brokers couldn’t pack the front of the line with their employees.

Beginning in 2019 Fall, all Telecharge customers will use this system…on Broadway and across the world.

CHAPTER 2 (The Jobs) 

The 10 Most Represented Colleges on Broadway in 2019. According to Playbill.com: “1. New York University … 2. University of Michigan … 3. The Juilliard School … 4. Carnegie Mellon University … 5. College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati … 6. American Musical and Dramatic Academy … 7. Boston Conservatory … 8. Northwestern University … 9. Point Park University … 10. Oklahoma City University.

CHAPTER 10 (Producing and Investing: Subsidiary Rights)

APPENDIX (Resources)

Concord Music Group used to play a bit part in theatrical licensing, but in just three years it’s emerged as a giant in the small but powerful industry. Since 2017, the independent music company has snapped up Tams-Witmark, Samuel French and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization (the latter through its acquisition of Dutch publisher Imagem). Add in the works licensed by the Musical Company, the joint venture launched in 2016 by Concord and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, and Concord’s theatrical division now encompasses everything from “A Chorus Line” to “Fences” to “Fun Home” to “Oklahoma!” to “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” 

 

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Updates: July 2019

CHAPTER 13, 18: Box office, Management

            According to a top Class Action lawsuit, the customers said that Ticketmaster sells tickets in bulk on its website to professional resellers and then the tickets are sold at an inflated price. The duo claim that Ticketmaster receives double commission and believe the practice is “unlawful.””

CHAPTER 26:  APPENDIX – Resources and Technology

            ProductionPro has launched Broadway By The Numbers 2019. The site explores the data behind the new shows opening each year. Topics include gender diversity, Broadway debuts, and more.

            PRG Scenic Technologies Celebrates 100,000 Broadway Shows – Founded in 1984 to develop new scenic fabrication and automation techniques for the live entertainment market, PRG Scenic Technologies is the longest continuously running theatrical automation shop in the USA.

CHAPTER 13, 18: Box office, Management

            Dynamic pricing is the practice of adjusting a price to meet its demand, or market value. Given the difficulty of selling 100% of a performance’s tickets and that any unsold tickets immediately expire once a performance starts, dynamic pricing shows promise of lowering ticket prices while increasing revenue for shows. Included are several statistical simulations of pricing scenarios, along with implementable take-aways.

 

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Updates: June 2019

CHAPTER 10: Producing and Investing

Broadway is in the midst, financially and artistically (with a caveat or two), of a new golden age. Every theater is booked, with up to five backup shows hoping to come in when a venue frees up. It’s possible that some musical houses — such as the Gershwin, where the 16-year-old “Wicked” could outlive its producers — may never be on the market again. And of course, “Phantom of the Opera” has been running for over 30 years with “Chicago” and “Lion King” and “Book of Mormon” still running strong.

NYTIMES: This past season, attendance was up 9.5 percent. And overall grosses rose even faster — up 10.3 percent, leading to the sixth record-breaking year in a row. Those are significant developments for an art form ever-worried about its cultural relevance, and they are especially striking during a season dominated by an unexpected bounty of ambitious plays.
In all, 14,768,254 patrons saw Broadway shows last season, for a total box office gross of $1.8 billion, according to figures released Tuesday by the Broadway League … Both totals — measured between May 28, 2018 and May 26, 2019 — are records for an industry that was thought to be dying in the 1970s but has forcefully rebounded.

 

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The Business of Broadway: May 2019

 

The competition is stiff as usual. The musicals take center stage, the amount of nominations are high. Will this generate ticket sales? Will it amount high viewership for CBS? If you have not seen the productions nominated, will it even matter to you at all? Can James Corden bring it for another year? This and many other questions circle as we are one month away from the big night! Here’s May 2019’s update. Enjoy!

 

 

Updates: May 2019

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Updates: May 2019

UPDATES FOR READERS OF “THE BUSINESS OF BROADWAY”

 

May 3, 2019

 

CHAPTER 6: TONY AWARDS

As we all know, nominations, in particular in the categories of Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Musical or Best Revival of a Play, can mean a bump at the box office on the day of nominations. There is also a bump in website traffic relative to how recognized a show is on Nominations Day. These website visitors may not result in immediate sales. Their interest will be sparked by the nominations and we are now capable of following up with them via remarketing efforts. Best Musical Noms see a 137% average boost in website traffic compared to the day before Best Musical Revival Noms see a 77% boost. Musical without a Best Musical or Revival Nomination see a 24% boost.

 

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The Business of Broadway – April 2019

Spring has sprung. Ah, if only money grew on trees. Well, most of the updates have to do with money because money is always changing. So, between the crazy list of theatrical productions you have planned to see this spring, get out to Central Park and soak up some sun. After all, it’s free! Well, New Yorkers pay taxes for it. Thank a New Yorker! Here’s the April update. Enjoy!

Updates: April 2019

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Updates: April 2019

 

CHAPTER 5: (MARKETING & PROMOTION)

A recent eMarketer report announced that 2019 will be the year where US digital ad spending will surpass traditional for the first time ever. We’ve been on this course for quite some time, and it’s finally happening! For Broadway marketing, this is a major adjustment.

CHAPTER 26: (RESOURCES)

The Institute of Financial Wellness for the Arts (IFWA) is a two-pronged venture. One half is a free online database of videos, presentations, and research on the basics of personal finance, the star of which is an hour-long course deconstructing myths about art and commerce. One half is a personal coaching service, which pairs artists with financial advisors, who can assist with both planning and investment management.

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The Business of Broadway – March 2019

This month’s update is about theatre owners. We often hear about the production side of things but, the very houses these productions exist in are just as integral to the industry. The focus this month is on accessibility and the efforts in play to ensure accessibility in all Broadway houses.

Updates: March 2019

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Updates: March 2019

CHAPTER 22: Theatre Owners

Broadway theatres have increased efforts to ensure that the theatre is accessible and open to everyone. One major innovation was the introduction of the GalaPro app that offers closed captioning, audio descriptions, and in many cases language translation.These services are offered on-demand, giving those who need access the ability to enjoy any show, anytime, using their own smartphone or mobile device.
In its first half-year of use, nearly 3500 theatregoers have downloaded and used GalaPro in Shubert houses alone. The vast majority are using GalaPro’s closed captioning technology to better understand the words being spoken or sung on stage, but audio descriptions and translations are getting some play too. There was a spike in translation usage in August 2018, most likely due to higher tourism numbers from Europe.

The light from smart phones can be minimalized during the use of this App.

 

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The Business of Broadway – February 2019

Love is in the air and “The Business of Broadway” just loves to bring you updates from “The Great White Way”. If Broadway were your significant other, it would all be about money. Money makes this business. Oh, and the artistry…but, without the money…anyway, here’s February 2019’s update!

Updates: February 2019

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