Are they playing hockey in hell?

Something froze over last week.

The primary and secondary markets started working together.

As reported in Ticket News, LiveNation, an official promoter of concerts and an official pusher of the tickets for those concerts, started listing brokers on their ticketing site as another option for tickets to their events.

For an example, click here to see the event page for the upcoming Jay-Z concert at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.  (And make sure you click on the “Search Tickets” button because the interface is awesome).

It’s an admission to the public that the secondary market exists, and that it may be able to provide something that the primary market can’t.

And it’s a way for LiveNation to provide customers with all of the options, under their own umbrella.

Oh, and it’s surely a way for LiveNation to make some extra bank, because you know those brokers are paying them big time.

It reminds me of listing secondary sellers of books, etc., even when they have the items in stock.

We talked about the primary and secondary shaking hands before.

It looks like the partnerships have begun in other live entertainment industries.

Is ours next?

It should be.

Why shopping online for theater is different than shopping online for other entertainment.

iTunes revolutionized how music is consumed by satisfying our culture’s increasing demand for instant gratification.  Want a song?  Click.  Bam.  Boom.  It’s on your iPod and you’re rocking out to your favorite Carpenters tune in no time.

Netflix is now pushing their instant viewing option as a way to satisfy the capricious mind of today’s audience that doesn’t want to plan ahead.  I want to see Goonies.  Now.  Now.  Now!  And all from the comfort of one’s own couch.
And the latest is from, the company that re-energized how we bought books.  Now, with The Kindle, you can have the latest Jackie Collins e-delivered to you in seconds, wherever you are.
So what do all of these trends have in common?
They don’t require the buyer to get off his butt.
The fundamental difference between purchasing theater tickets online and purchasing most any other product online, is that the purchase of a theater ticket is a commitment on behalf of the buyer to make a physical effort in order to have the experience at a future date or time.
In addition to all of the examples above, food, clothes, electronics, etc. are all e-shopped items that can be delivered, but buying a theater ticket requires you to get off your couch, determine your method of transportation, block out time to see the show (there ain’t no pause button), and physically get your American Idol watching a$$ down to the theater.
This is one of the greatest challenges that the theater faces in the next decade, as more and more entertainment options become instantly available to us (it’s also important that as we develop our marketing strategies we realize this fundamental difference in our customers’ purchase thought process).
But these challenges are not insurmountable.  As I’ve said before, I believe that as more of these two dimensional forms of entertainment become available to us, the three dimensional form or the “live” entertainment experience becomes that much more rare, and that much more valuable . . . provided the experience is still special.
A lot of people disagree with me.  They say that the internet has changed the face of entertainment and that theater will be dead in 20 years.
My response?
Somehow, the theater has survived the invention of the radio, the movie, and most significantly . . . the television. As long as we tweak our experience to satisfy our new audience’s expectations, we’ll have no problem surviving this.
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Speaking of The Kindle, for those of you who own that little cracker-jack of a device, you can now get my blog e-delivered directly to your Kindle.  Visit the Kindle store and search for Ken Davenport or click here!
If you don’t own one, let me tell you that it’s one of my favorite new toys, thanks to the PDF feature.  It allows me to read more scripts than ever before.

Books are like black . . . always in style. So I published one!

Records, 8-tracks, cassettes (and cassingles), CDs and MP3s:  I’ve seen all of these in my lifetime, and only two of those methods of music distribution remain.

Books, audio books and digital books:  I’ve seen all of these in my lifetime, and all three remain (interesting how the word book has stuck whereas music has come up with new “titles” altogether).
Despite the awesomeness of The Kindle (the PDF conversion feature makes it so easy for me to take 10 scripts on trips without having to bring an extra suitcase), don’t expect your paperback to disappear anytime soon.  Kindles and the like will become more and more popular, as will reading on your iPhone, but there’s something about a book’s portability, durability, and economicability (I know that’s not a word, but I wanted another “-ility” and it made me laugh when I read it out loud so I went for it.  Sue-ility me.).
I mean, think about it . . . what would hotels do if books disappeared?  Would you find a e-bible in your nightstand instead?  Books have history.  They have character.  They sit on shelves and act like art.
Since books aren’t going anywhere, and more importantly, since my father still thinks the “world wide inter-web” is a place where spiders hang out in-between meals so he has yet to read any one of my blogs . . . I published one!
And here she is . . . it’s a collection of the first year of my blogs titled YEAR 1:  Is There A Doctor In The Theater?  
In addition to my Dad, it was created for people who may have joined the ranks of the readers more recently, and want to catch up.  Get the book and you can flip pages on the subway or on the beach rather than click and click and click while seated at a desk in an office or at home.
The other reason I published the book, frankly, is because I just wanted to say that I did it.  No other reason than that.  And thanks to that cool “place where spiders hang out” and companies like Lulu, it’s easier now to publish a book than ever before.
The book will be on in a few weeks, but until then you can get it for yourself or for a friend, here.
And Dad, if someone is reading this to you, it will be in your mailbox in three weeks.  I know that seems like a long time, but since you still think old-school communication is the way to go, I thought I’d send it to you via Pony Express.   😉
Oh, BTW, a portion of the proceeds from the book are going to this cool thing I have planned for all of you . . . but it’s still in its ameobic form, so I can’t get specific yet.  But it’s something that will hopefully help you guys get your shows off the ground.

Amazon can do it. Why can’t we? Earn cash with my new Altar Boyz affiliate program.

One of the first chinks in the armor of the big traditional media companies was first noticed in 1996, when turned us all into media companies with the unveiling of their monster affiliate system.

How does it work?  Sell one of their products via a unique link to their website . . . and make money.  As simple and brilliant as the straw, right?  Amazon got risk-free placement of their ads and extra traffic to their site, and the web publishers, no matter how big or small, found a way to monetize their online activities.

In other words, they got a free army of sales soldiers going into battle . . . for free.

Affiliate marketing is now in a zillion different online industries, and companies big and small, from Netflix to EasyFlirt, have all been reaping the benefits and giving great part time jobs to a lot of people passionate about those companies’ products (and those part time gigs are coming in pretty handy right now, I’m sure).

That got me thinking . . . if Affiliate marketing can work for every other business, why not Broadway and Off-Broadway, right?

Yet no one else is doing it.  Are you shocked?  I didn’t think so.

So, taking a cue from bigger businesses, as I often do, I’m proud to introduce . . .


Here’s how it work:

  1. Apply to be an Altar Boyz affiliate by clicking here.
  2. We’ll send you a personal code/link for a special discount ticket to Altar Boyz.
  3. Get people to buy tickets using your code however you’d like.
  4. For every ticket you sell?  You earn $10.  That’s right.  1 ticket = $10.  Sell 10 a day, make $100 a day!  Sell 100 a week, make $1,000!!!
  5. Retire early.

And did we tell you that the discount price you’ll have access to is only $45?  That gives you one of the best discounts available.  Put it on your blog or your facebook.  Email your friends.  Plan a group outing for your church/temple/whatever.  The amount of money you can make is only limited by the number of seats we have in the theater!

To read more about the program, click here.

And now, I have to run and see what else other big successful companies are doing so I can see how I can retrofit it to my business.