Who reads The Producer’s Perspective? Survey says . . .

Thanks to everyone who took last week’s Producer’s Perspective survey!  And now, it’s time for the results!  Just who is reading what you’re reading right now?

I’ve posted some of the data that I thought you’d get a kick-line out of below.  Oh, and I may have tossed in a comment or two amidst the data (are you surprised?) so bear with me.  For those chess nerds players out there, if I was shocked by a stat, I used the chess notation for suprise (!).

GENDER

55.38% Male
44.62% Female

AGE

18.33%  19-25
13.35%  26-30
18.33%  31-40
17.13%  41-50
18.33%  51-60
7.57%  61+
6.97% Under 18.

I was excited to see that almost 57% of you, a definite mandate, are under the age of 40.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

91.43% of you are in the US

The top two countries outside the US that have PP readers are Canada and Australia (which has 3x the number of readers as the UK.  Was it something I said, Great Britain?).

In this country, the top five states are:

44.4% NY
5.72% CA
7.78% NJ
2.90% IL
2.52% FL (!)

No CT?  And where are my fellow Red Sox fans from MA?

WHAT DO YOU DO?

72.43% of you work in the “biz” in the following capacities:

24.70%  Producer
24.10%  Theater Admin
17.13%  Performer (!)
14.94%  Writer
14.54%  Director/Choreographer

I was thrilled to see the performer #s as high as they are because I love it when artists get more involved in the business of what we do . . . and I think all of us business peeps should take more time to learn more about what it’s like to be an artist.  Understanding each other and where we come from helps prevent conflicts.

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PP?

28.29%  Friend
23.31%  Search

Once again, Word-of-Mouth is King, with Google as its Queen.  These two elements could be the foundation of 100 different ad campaigns for products of all shapes and sizes.

FAVORITE TOPICS

You like when I talk about Producing, Marketing and insidery information.  A bunch of you are peeved at the Giveaways because the prizes are generally only for the 44% of you that live in NY.  So, point taken.  We’ll look for some globally appropriate giveaway gifts in the coming weeks.

As I did the first time I surveyed my readers a couple of years ago, I learned a ton by asking you all these 10 or so questions.  Your feedback will be ringing in my ears every night as I write, and I’ll try to make the blog a better place, for you and me (cue this song).

But USA for Africa aside, feedback loops are an essential part of the development of any product that changes over time and depends on new customers every day . . . and surprise, surprise, I’m talking about theater.

If you don’t have a system to take surveys set up for whatever it is you are producing, take the time to do it today.  The quicker you start learning what your customers like and most importantly what your customers don’t like, the quicker you can actually get more customers.

Here are two survey companies I recommend:

Wufoo

and

Survey Monkey

Thanks again, everyone!

 

(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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FUN STUFF

– Enter to win 2 tickets to The Illusion Off-Broadway!  Click here.

– Seminars in Chicago, the weekend of July 9th.  Click here!

 

Who am I surveying next? Myself!

Last week’s Tony Awards survey and its revealing results got me in the surveyin’ spirit.

When I was thinking about who to survey next, I realized that it has been some time since we have taken a survey of . . . YOU!

As you know, I’m a big believer in constantly asking your audience what they think of your show, your marketing, the amount of ice cubes in your $10 cokes, etc.  Are you going to pay attention to every comment that you get?  No.  But if you see the same comment more than thrice. . . Well, then I’d investigate if I were you.

And now it’s time to practice what I preach!

Below is a link to a quick survey that will ask you some demographic info (so we can reveal just who is reading TPP – which I will do so publicly), and it’ll also ask you to give us some feedback on the blog.  And I’ll use that feedback to make the blog better for all of you.  Promise.

So if there’s something you want less of–or more of–now is your chance.

Click here to take the Producer’s Perspective Survey!

 

(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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FUN STUFF

– Come to our Writer/Producer Collaborator Speed Date on June 21st. RSVP here!

– My next Get Your Show Off the Ground seminar is coming up on June 25th. Only 3 spots left! Get info here.

– The next NY Broadway Investing 101 seminar is June 28th. Get your ticket today!

– Enter to win 2 tickets to the High School Tony Awards, aka The Jimmies!  Click here.

Would you pay to read the NY Times online? Survey results revealed!

Last week, the introduction of the New York Times paywall prodded me to ask all of you whether or not you’d read features and/or reviews from the Arts and Leisure section if you were forced to fork over your credit card info.

Ready for the down-and-dirty results?  I bet you can guess them.

  • First of all, 81.27% of those polled do NOT subscribe to the New York Times.
  • That leaves only 18.73% that do subscribe.

Next, when the non-subscribers were asked if they would pay to read a feature article . . .

  • 64.69% would NOT pay to read a feature.
  • 8.75% would pay.
  • 26.56% might pay.

Finally, when the non-subscribers were asked if they would pay to read a review  . . .

  • 70.25% would NOT pay to read a review.
  • 8.23% would pay.
  • 21.52% might pay.

So what does this mean?

First off, the only number that suprised me was the number of my readers that weren’t subscribers to the Times. But, I guess that’s why they are in this paywall mess in the first place.

Second, if I was a NY Times exec., I’d be frightened by these figures, even though it’s a very casual survey of a very specific type of reader (I don’t think the Times is counting on A&L readers to keep their biz going – still, I have to wonder if the Times did a similar survey before they erected their paywall).  The Times has to know they are going to lose readers.  The hope is that the small percentage that will pay will generate more income for the business than the readers they are going to lose.

Lastly, the results indicate that there is a large percentage of you that would consider paying for both features and reviews, which once again proves that it doesn’t matter what the barrier of entry is . . . if the content is crown-worthy, the people will pay.

As I’ve said before, people are not price resistant, they are value resistant.  They will pay $3,000 for a handbag or $5 for a cup of coffee or $150 for a theater ticket, if there is enough value in the experience, and if the experience is rare enough (which is the problem with the NY Times model – since free news is everywhere).

The challenge for the New York Times isn’t getting people to pay for their content.  The challenge for the New York Times is getting the content to a level where it’s worth paying for.

Thanks for taking the survey!  Oh, and if you ever max out on your 20 free articles and are dying to read the NY Times reviews, don’t forget you can always read them for free by visiting them through other sites . . . like, oh, I don’t know, this one?  🙂

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FUN STUFF:

– Enter The Sunday Giveaway!  Win two tickets to Mamma Mia on Broadway!  Enter today.

– The next Get Your Show Off The Ground seminar is Saturday, April 2nd.  ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!  Register today.

– Join the Broadway version of Groupon.  Sign up for MyBroadwayDeal.com  today!

 

 

Do audiences care if a Broadway show is in previews? Survey says . . .

Oh Spidey . . . you just can’t keep your name out of the papers.

And, based on the 1.8 million bucks you did over Christmas week, I bet you’re starting not to care.

The latest bit of publicity about the uber-musical hit the wires late last week when Bill de Blasio, a NYC public advocate, sent a letter to the Department of Consumer Affairs stating that Spidey was in violation of the law, due to its extended preview period, and their alleged failure to disclose this information to ticket buyers.

While part of me believes Mr. de Blasio is looking to catch a ride on the Spider-Man publicity train in order to further his own political ambitions, this is not the first time this argument has been made (anyone remember Nick and Nora?).

This bit of news started an internal debate between the two sides of my mind.  Do we have to do more to distinguish between opening and previews?  Should we charge less?  And then came the big question . . . do consumers really care?

I formulated my own opinion (surprise, surprise) and then realized that if I really wanted to find out if consumers cared, I needed to talk to consumers!

So, I sent my trusty weekend intern Jason out into the cold to chat with folks in the TKTS line and find out!

We asked 100 US residents if knowing that a show was in previews made them more inclined to see it, less inclined to see it, or if it made no difference at all.

Ready to see the results?

Not so fast.  Before I reveal to you what they thought . . . what do you THINK they thought?  Come on, imagine this is The Price is Right and you have to guess before you see how much that box of Wheaties actually costs.

What percentage was more inclined?  Less inclined?  And what percentage didn’t give a flying superhero.

Here are the results:

12% were MORE inclined to see a show in previews.
18% were LESS inclined to see a show in previews.
70% didn’t care either way.

Surprising? Not to me.

Now, as with any survey, you have to take into account the group sampled (and the size of that group).  A TKTS audience may be only in town for a short period of time, and have a totally different criteria for making that choice.  A NYC resident theatergoer may want to wait until a show is fully cooked before taking a bite.  Admittedly this was a down-and-dirty survey.

But it still says something.

The audience just wants in.

However, the bigger challenge for the Producer is that if your show is a bit “rare” during previews, you should be more concerned about what the audience is saying on the way out of the theater.  Because if they don’t care that the show is in previews, then they’re not going to cut you any slack for it either.  For them, it’s just there . . . so you better be prepared to give them the goods.

We love talking to the folks on line at the TKTS booth.  Wanna see what we’ve asked them in the past?

– Read the results of our survey of WHO is actually standing in that line here.

– Read the results of our “When I say Broadway, you say . . . ” survey here.

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Upcoming Get Your Show Off The Ground Seminars

CHICAGO – Saturday, January 15th.  Register today..  ONLY 1 SPOT LEFT.

LA – Saturday, January 29th.  Register today.  ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT.

NYC – Saturday, March 19th.  Save $55 if you register by 1/31.  Register today.

For more info on the seminars, click here.

 

Next up in our reading series? Heartland.

The first play in the Davenport Developmental Reading Series, Alex Webb’s Civil War drama, Amelia, was, well, as much fun as Civil War Dramas can be.

We had a great time, learned a lot, and the post-reading survey results on the play demonstrated that Alex was really on to something.  I look forward to giving you updates on what he’s up to next with the play.

It’s already time for the second date in our free reading series.  This time, we found our writer north of the border.  Steven Owad hails from Calgary, Canada.

And next Monday, June 14th at 8 PM, at the Mint Theater thousands of miles from his home, some great actors will read his new play, Heartland.

Steven describes Heartland as “a drama about three men on the brink of self-destruction in middle America.  Loners in a small community, they form a deadly triangle tempered by violence, revenge and a ruthless alpha-male need for control.”

I describe Heartland as a Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode . . . before Vincent D’Onofrio shows up.

The reading of Heartland will be directed by another kanuck, Mr. Stafford Arima, known for Altar Boyz, Tin Pan Alley Rag, and an Olivier nominee for the West End Ragtime.  Stafford was also lucky enough to be the first to get his directorial mitts on Carrie, when he staged the reading of that horror show earlier this year.

Stafford got some great actors to play the three alpha males in Heartland, including Greg Stone (Pirate Queen, Miss Saigon, Les Miz), Peter Lockyer (South Pacific, Phantom, La Boheme) and Wes Seals (The Quest for Fame, Sex Drugs & Rock ‘n Roll).

Seating is very limited so if you’d like to come and support a new writer and his work, RSVP ASAP to rsvp@davenporttheatrical.com.  We expect the seats to go very fast, because, well, it’s free.

See you there!

Heartland
Written by Steven Owad
Directed by Stafford Arima
Featuring Greg Stone, Peter Lockyer and Wes Seals

Monday, June 14th
8 PM
The Mint Theater
311 West 43rd St. (between 8th and 9th)
#307

See you there!

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Play today! Click here!

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