Bloomberg News broke a big biz story today about BroadwayBox, the online discount farm that Broadway buyers love . . . and most Producers love/hate. (I affectionately call BroadwayBox, the Walmart of Broadway Shows.)
See, in a lot of the research I’ve done, I’ve found that buyers don’t use The Box as a browsing guide. They use it when they know what show they want to see. One focus group participant said, “I have BroadwayBox on my favorites. When my wife tells me to get tickets to a show, I go there first. And I save money.”
So, if it didn’t exist, that show would have had a shot to get full price, right? I mean, when the wife wants something, you get it.
Now you see the “hate” side of the love/hate.
At the same time, The Box sells a lot of tickets to a lot of shows . . . some that maybe consumers wouldn’t have paid full price for in the first place. ”I’ll go see if I can get a discount. If I can find one, I’ll go. If not, forget it.” A discount is an insurance policy for some. A reason to risk if they haven’t heard what they want to hear about a show before buying.
Now you see the “love.”
Well all that may be changing because in another awesomely aggressive acquisition Broadway Across America, who recently acquired Broadway.com and then recently acquired Group Sales Box Office, has now acquired BroadwayBox.
What will they do with it?
That’s the question that everyone’s asking. Will they run it as is (with a newly revised site)? A lot of cash is made selling email blasts to Producers and through online affiliate commissions thanks to its tremendous organic search rankings. Or, is more cash made by Broadway.com’s service fees, and will they just push the traffic to Broadway.com? (And would that help the business by removing the major supplier of online discounts? If the guy mentioned above couldn’t find BroadwayBox anymore, would he buy full price tickets?)
I doubt the site will disappear, but whatever happens, the discounting game is guaranteed to change. And I bet it’ll be for the better.
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