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Aaron Andersen
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As a liberal democrat, I found this fairly entertaining. Pass the popcorn!
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If you perceive that this is a good deal for you, then I'm not sure what cause you have to complain. If you want to capture more of the economic surplus for yourself, then try to negotiate down the price or go with a catalog that reaches the same value customers at a lower price, or a higher value customer base for the same price, if you can find one. As for Michael's idea, I agree there is an opportunity to leverage technology and start competing on price. But it certainly is not "blue ocean" in a crowded market like this. Give it a shot, and you'll see that ocean get very red, very fast. If one catalog starts competing on price, then they will all have to do it. And within a year or two, they will have competed away most or all the profit from ad sales. They know this, so they keep it the way it is. No established player wants a price war. And newcomers rarely have the established revenue streams and cost efficiencies to be able to afford one.
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OK, so expansion to rural markets is one way to increase demand. I suppose expansion to new international markets MIGHT be another. And then there is the classic non-falsifiable strategy--greater education programs to raise the next generation of theater supporters. Let's hear some others. Seriously, everybody is always talking about growing the size of the pie. Talking and talking and talking about it. But this rural expansion is the first new idea I've personally heard to increase demand for the arts in a long time. For the most part, I agree with Landesman (as you've related his perspective). I disagree that nonprofits have a greater responsibility to take risks. Some of them ought to focus on sustainability, so that all the ephemeral risk takers can have a sort of a fallback position from time to time. Sustainability calls for managed risks. Also, there are more rewards for risk on Broadway. If you want nonprofits to take more risks, you've got to increase the rewards.
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My thought in context of a younger organization is that you have to solidify the skills on one hand before moving to the other, so that audiences (or customers or whatever), can become confident in your execution. In other words, I think a young organization needs to nail the right hand before adding the left. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that.
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2011 on Left Hand - Right Hand at The Mission Paradox Blog
Good stuff! I agree completely. I also think that when there are a lot of leaks, then an organization can be close to the edge of failure for quite a while, close enough that a crisis that would be endured by a stronger organization just tips the leaky one right over the edge. And in that case, the crisis will, of course, be blamed.
Toggle Commented Dec 27, 2010 on Fixing the leak: Part 1 at The Mission Paradox Blog
It is interesting to me when pressure for risk-averse, safe choices comes from the Board, many members of which are risk-tolerant in their own careers. There is also the unfortunate issue in nonprofits that we're generally managing to a financial bottom line of zero. We don't give ourselves much of a cushion to absorb failures that might hit the bottom line. The topic of risk-aversion in nonprofits is a huge one, and risk-aversion plays directly into what you're talking about.
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2010 on No accidents at The Mission Paradox Blog
Live performance will always be subject to scarcity when artists get paid. I find that if one doesn't believe there is something amazing and special about live performance, it is just too depressing to work in the performing arts. And when we're tied to certain facilities as the locations for live performance, there is geographical scarcity, too. But yes, I agree that marketing MUST include building relationships. I also believe that marketing must include uncovering what the audience needs, and delivering it; but this is the part of "marketing" usually covered by the AD and other artistic staff.
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2010 on A new problem at The Mission Paradox Blog
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Oct 12, 2010