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!)

—————-

FUN STUFF

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

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

 

Did the fat lady sing for New York City Opera? And is this an operatic omen?

In a dramatic move that deserves its own aria, New York City Opera, the very first tenant of the center known as Lincoln, announced that it was up and moving.

Where?

No one, including NYCO, knows.

The question on everybody’s mind . . . is this the end of New York City Opera?  And, gulp, is this the beginning of the end for opera???

It’s a challenged art form, no doubt.  As less and and less people are brought up on it, less and less people are supporting it (either through ticket sales or donations).

Unfortunately, I think that in 10 years, the end of NYCO’s reign at Lincoln Center will be remembered as the closing that was heard around the world.  More closings will follow.  The audiences are shrinking, which means the business model will have to correct itself by decreasing supply.  Ironically, competitors, like The Met (who has done a kick ass job of making opera relevant), will benefit.

What does this mean for our closely-related industry?

We’ve seen our audience contract in recent years.  We’ve seen our ticket prices increase in recent years.  And we’ve seen a billion other entertainment options pop up in your pocket!

It’s essential that we get out ahead of the opera so we’re not faced with a similar breaking news item in 10 years.

But I’m not sure we can.

In fact, I’ll predict right now that one of the major non-profit theaters in this city will go out of business in the next decade.  Which one?  Simple – whichever company chooses to produce shows that no longer feel relevant to today’s theatergoer.

– – – – –

FUN STUFF

– Come to our Tony Awards Party!  Click here for more info and to get your ticket now!

– Enter my Tony Pool!  You can win an iPad!  Enter today!

– Come to the Broadway Investing Seminar on May 31st.  RSVP here.

– Enter to win 2 tickets to see The Shaggs!  Click here.

 

If Glee had a baby, it would be named . . .

. . . Smash.

One of the best bits of news to hit Broadway in years happened just last week, when NBC officially ordered episodes of the new pilot entitled, Smash.  What’s it about?

It’s about the making of a Broadway musical.

As one of our industry vets once told me, hits beget hits, and the success of Glee has inspired competing networks to jump on the Broadway bandwagon.  And that’s great news for all of us, as the words Broadway, Broadway, Broadway are repeated over, over and over, in front of millions, millions and millions of viewers every week.

And that’s even if the show sucks.

But from what I hear, it doesn’t.

I had a spy at NBC’s “upfronts” today (which is when the network previews its new shows for advertisers).  My guy reports that the room was so quiet during the Smash preview, you could hear a false eyelash drop . . . and that the room erupted in cheers when the trailer came to and end.

But you be the judge . . . the trailer is below.

Oh, and you know what else is cool?  Like some talent-trade deal, NBC enlisted actual Broadway talent to play Broadway peeps, as if to say thank you for us hiring so much Hollywood talent over the last few years (it doesn’t hurt that Robert Greenblatt, the President of Programming at NBC is a Broadway lover, having produced 9 to 5 just a few years ago).  In the trailer you’ll see Megan Hilty, Christian Borle, Brian d’Arcy James, and a few more.  (Do you think Hollywood actors are b*tching about Broadway folks getting the good roles?)

Oh, and the show headlines Anjelica Huston, Debra Messing and a guy with a really cool name . . . Jack Davenport.

In case you needed another reason to tune in, the Exec. Producer is Steven Spielberg.

But you didn’t need another reason, did you?  This show had you at hello, Dolly.  You’re all planning your viewing parties already aren’t you?

I know we are.  In fact . . . maybe we’ll do a premiere party!  (unfortunately, we’ll all have to wait a bit because Smash is a mid-season replacement.)

It deserves a party.  Because it could be our best bet at a new audience in years.

In fact, Smash not a Glee baby.  This is one heck of a big mama.

 

 

 

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

– – – – –

FUN STUFF

– Come to our Tony Awards Party!  Click here for more info and to get your ticket now!

– Enter my Tony Pool!  You can win an iPad!  Enter today!

– Enter to win 2 tickets to see By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at Second Stage!  Click here.

The wizards behind our curtains.

Yesterday marked the last day of the annual Broadway League Spring Road Conference, the four-day-long conference for Producers and Presenters from all over the country that’s filled with keynotes, cocktail parties, and lots of Tony lobbying. (This is when a ton of the voters from outside the tri-state see the shows and make their decisions.)

There are always discussions about digital marketing, how to save the subscription model, how we educate the touring market about new Broadway shows and so on.

But by far, the most popular sessions every year are these fantastic Creative Conversations panels that feature interviews with teams from a show.  There’s the Book of Mormon CC, the Sister Act CC, etc.

And when I say “teams,” I mean they pull out the first-stringers for these convos. Daniel Radcliffe, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, The South Park Boys, and so on were the headliners of the Creative Conversation for their specific shows.  And they were flanked by the authors, directors, and other VIPs.   As you can guess, these panels are super educational and supremely entertaining.

So much so that each one garnered a standing ovation.  At a conference!

Some of the shows themselves didn’t get ovations like these panels!

Why?

Yes, because of the star power that is sitting just a few feet away, but also because this theater-loving audience likes hearing the stories behind the shows.

If you like cars, you’re going to want to know what’s under the hood of any car you see and how it works.  If you like food, you’d probably love to tour the kitchen of your favorite restaurant and hear how the chef prepares your favorite dish.

And theater fans, whether they are in the industry or not, love to hear about how it all came together.

There was some talk about taping and pod-casting these Convos, and while I don’t think that will happen (nor should they – because the fun of these sessions is that they are “off-the-record”), but the interest in them did remind me that having video footage, podcasts, blogs and more from your creative team is an essential part of marketing to your core fan.

Because if you show them who and what is behind the curtain, they just may pay to sit in front of it again and again.

 

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

– – – – –

FUN STUFF

– LAST CALL for the Seminars and Social in Minneapolis!  Click the link and RSVP today!

– Enter my Tony Pool!  You can win an iPad!  Enter today!

– Enter to win 2 tickets to see Lombardi on Broadway!  Click here.

When are the worst times of the year for Broadway shows?

If you asked anyone when the worst weeks of the year are for Broadway, I’d bet you the brand new pre-release of The Book of Mormon CD that I got yesterday the answer you’d hear would be September and January.

But is that true?

I’ve never been a fan of anecdotal evidence, so with some help from one of my assistants, Jason Najjoum, I looked at the weekly grosses of Broadway shows for the last ten years, and found the 10 weeks with the lowest average weekly grosses.

Here’s the list, starting with the weeks with the worst averages:

1.  Week #5 – First week of February
2.  Week #18 – Last week of April
3.  Week #10 – First week of March
4.  Week #9 – Last week of February
5.  Week #44 – Last week of October
6.  Week #19 – First week of May
7.  Week #6 – Second week of February
8.  Week  #46 – Second week of November
9.  Week #17 – Third week of April
10. Week #4 – Last week of January

Funny, isn’t it?  September doesn’t appear in the Top 10.  And there are two consecutive three week runs in this list:

– Last week of January, First week of February and Second week of February.

and . . . the surprise that I was looking for . .

– Third week of April, Last week of April and First week of May.

So, looking at the average weekly grosses only, we just went through one of the worst times of the year.

Now, it may be no one’s fault but our own.  While I do believe that late April/May is not the best time for theatergoing, remember we are looking at average weekly grosses.  So if we’re putting more product on the street during this periods (and we know we are in late April/May because the Tony eligibility cutoff is usually at end of April), we’re driving our own average grosses down.

It’s easy to look at the best weeks of the year.  It’s hard to look at the worst.  But this is where we can learn the most.  By looking at the above, we know when we have to market more aggressively.  We know when we should avoid opening.

And we know that what we think we know is not always what’s the truth.

It’s not the nose that knows.  It’s the numbers that know.

 

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

– – – – –

FUN STUFF

– Enter my Tony Pool!  You can win an iPad!  Enter today!

– Take the Broadway Investing 101 Seminar in NYC and in Minneapolis!  Click here!

– Take the Get Your Show Off the Ground Seminar in Minneapolis on May 15th.  Click here!

– Come to the Social in Minneapolis.  Click here!

– Enter to win 2 tickets to see Lombardi on Broadway!  Click here.

X