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Ken- I loved this idea about using YouTube to make money for broadway. I think one thing you left out is just exposing good theater to more people would get them more interested to come out and see the real thing (or-- eventually pay for it online). Here would be my suggestions: 1. Get producers like yourself (or just you) to become an official content provider for YouTube (they need quality, original content, not 14 year old boys burping). 2. Create a Broadway channel on YouTube 3. Professionally film 3-5 min. clips from shows (I know-- Equity problems-- but assuming they see the light). At the beginning and ending of each clip put a URL on where/how to buy tickets for that show. Until you get the rights to that, have clips of the actors talking about their characters and upload that on the page. 4. Work out a revenue split. 5. Once you get more a critical mass and process is in place---film the whole show and have downloads like movies. Payment works out similarly. I think just being able to get the best of clips/teasers out there would be great because it would expose so many more people exposed to theater-- and the ideal ads to run on those would be for tickets to the show and Bus/Train/Airline tickets to NYC.
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Steve-- you say the first problem would be identifying clips. Would it? According to the NYT article, thanks to You Tube's Content ID (for registered content partners) that wouldn't be a problem.
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Ticket lovers, have you ever been found yourself a little bit rushed to get to the restaurant before the show and then realized as you are walking over to the theater-- that you left your tickets for you and your honey at home? I love ticket-less shows because I don't have that worry. That being said--- I am fine with keeping the precious paper ticket version as long as theaters will accept credit card/phone UPS coding if you forget your paper ticket at home. That's a compromise that was worked out for the fog horns in San Francisco. With sophisticated GPS and sonar tracking, there was no need for foghorns to warn ships anymore. So they discontinued them. But people missed the sound so much, that they now sound the foghorns whenever there is fog. So now they have both the low-tech and high-tech versions to warn ships and everyone is happy.
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I loved Hair. The music was great, the message was still relevant, and the dancing was fantastic. But you know what I remember most? Being able to get up on stage at the end with other audience members.
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Ken- I think you articulated the concerns of marketing directors really well. When it comes to addressing them, however, you could have even gone further. Instead of waiting for the marketing directors to negotiate with you/other producers on how much less to put up if the risk is great-- why not pull a Google and do a pay for performance model(literally) and be super clear about the costs. Here's how it would work: 1. Out of the negotiated fee, xx% is put up initially. 2. If the show goes on for a month. xx% more is paid. 3. If it goes for 3 months, the remaining % of the fee would be paid. 4. Beyond 3 months-- the advertiser would pay a bonus. This way, risk is shared, and payment is much more in line with how often audiences are seeing the product. Google works because advertisers pay for performance and it's intuitively clear how it works. Producers could learn a lot by following Google's example.
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I love the part about empowering your Brand Ambassadors (customer service agents). It's one reason I love Nordstroms so much. I would also add that in social media you can also empower your most active users to be volunteer ambassadors/evangelists. The people who use your site the most often probably know your brand and the others in the community better than anyone else. Just acknowledging that and giving them the occasional perk can create more enthusiastic evangelists than you could ever pay for.
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Aug 3, 2010