Breaking news: I just bought a copy of the New York Times.

I wanted to get a print copy of yesterday’s Avenue Q review so that our street team sellers could use it to show potential customers how timely the show is.

It cost me $2.

I literally said to the Newsstand Man, “Well, I’m never going to buy another copy of this paper again.”

According to HuffPo, the price of the paper has doubled in less than 2 years in an effort to make up some of the difference in the loss of advertising revenue and loss of readers.

Let me state the obvious:

Raising your prices to make up for a shortage in customers and/or an increase in expenses is never wise.

You want to raise your prices?  You better increase your value.

This message goes out to the NY Times . . . and to our industry as well.

Slowly but surely, we’ve been doing the same thing.  Grosses going up.  Attendance going down.

Let’s just pray that we don’t reach a point where a former loyal customer says, “Well, I’m never going to buy another ticket again.”

– – – – –

Producer’s Perspective Trivia:  Can you tell me why this picture is relevant to this entry?

You ask. You get. A rate for Oleanna.

I’ve received a bunch of requests from readers asking for a deal to see Oleanna.  So here it is, the Producer’s Perspective discount!

Only $59 bucks will get you in to see what Brantley called “arguably, the ultimate he-said, she-said drama” in last week’s NY Times Fall Preview (Better seats will cost you $65).

To get the deal, click here.
Oh, and here’s something even cooler that not many people know. We’ve put a very limited number of tickets for Opening Night on October 11th on sale.  These are at full price, but if you’ve never been to an opening, they are a lot of fun.  Lots of stars. Lots of butterflies. Lots of fun.
To get those, click here.
See you there!

I have nothing to say.

From the NY TImes:  Arbitrator Rules In Favor of Jeremy Piven in ‘Speed The Plow’ Dispute.

Well, that ends that.

Since this post is so short, I thought I’d introduce a new feature on The Producer’s Perspective called ‘Summer Movie’, where we highlight the success or lack thereof of a summer motion picture.

For our first edition, we’re going to focus on a film called The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard which featured a very interesting cast.

And that very interesting cast conjured up a sickly 29% on the tote board.

Uh-oh.  This just in.  Due to an unexplained illness, this will be the first and last edition of our new feature, ‘Summer Movie’.

Does a good review from the NY Times guarantee a longer run?

A few months ago, I started pulling together some data on this very question.  I’m glad I stopped.

Because Lan Ma Nygren of Rider University and Jeffrey S. Simonoff from NYU did similar research and they did it a whole lot better.

You can download the report here, which is entitled:  Bright Lights, Big Dreams – A Case Study of Factors Relating to the Success of Broadway Shows.  

But break out your geek glasses, because it’s a serious statistician’s look at our biz (how rare, and how awesome!).  It includes phrases like “linear regression model” and “Kaplan-Meier estimator of the survival function” and “The Daily News.”

You have to read the report to get their full analysis of the factors that contribute to a hit (you’ll be impressed by how many you know already), but I will leave you with this quote from page 8:

On the other hand, reviews in the Times are not at all related to show longevity.  The essence seems to be that while a review once had a strong effect on the success of a show, that is no longer the case because of the way that the audience for and marketing of Broadway shows has changed in the last 20 years.


Anyone can advertise on the NY Times! Except for guess whom?

I was reading a review on The Old Gray Lady the other day (not in print, mind you, but online) and I noticed an interesting ad appearing on the page.

It didn’t look like an ad that would normally appear in the Times, actually. It was for a smaller company that I wish I could remember (couldn’t have been that good of an ad) but I think it had something to do with discount mortgages or something.

There was an “advertise with the NY Times” link right underneath the forgettable ad, so I clicked, because I honestly wondered how that forgettable company afforded that placement.
And it took me to a brand new offering from the NY Times . . . Self Serve Advertising!
It seems that the NY Times has developed their own version of Google’s web-changing AdWords program, which they call Self Serve, for clients with a budget under $10k (sounds perfect for Off-Broadway, doesn’t it?).
It looks awesome!  You can upload your own ad or if you don’t have one, you can use one of their templates!  You can set your own daily budget so you never spend more than you’re comfy with!  You can start with as little as $50/day!  You get reporting, tracking and more!  And you can pick exactly what section you want to advertise in!  It’s perfect!
Where do I sign up?
Where do I . . . where do I . . .
Oh.  Wait a second.  It looks like . . . yep . . . huh.
The NY Times does not allow self-serve advertising in the Theater section.
Let me say that a different way.
The NY Times Online allows you to advertise in all areas of the The Old Gray Biatch except for the Arts section (and Opinion & Politics).
I mean . . . wow . . . ok, ok, keep it up NY Times . . . keep pushing us further away, cuz you’re doing oh so well in the meantime.  What was it again?  A loss of 61 million in the first quarter?  That’s like more than 4 Lestats.
If you’d like to be discriminated against because of the business you’re in, click here to check out Self-Service Advertising on NY Times Online.
And then take your money to Google (which serves ads to the NY Times anyway).
Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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