Study: British theatres trump restaurants and pubs in recession
From The Stage, January 13, 2011
British theatre continues to buck the recession, according to a new report revealing the resilience of the performing arts sector compared with restaurants, pubs and clubs. Of those who go to the pub, 43% said they had already cut spending, 38% of people who eat out said they had cut down, as had 35% of clubbers -- compared with only 21% of theatre audiences. The report's author Michael Oliver said: "In a recession people tend to look at discretionary areas that they can cut back. However, one of our trends we identified in 2010 was that of escapism.... Although people are having to... scrimp and save....they are treating themselves every now and then to things like trips to the cinema, music concerts and theatre, and this has really helped." As well as benefiting from a consumer trend for occasional affordable treats, the report also states that the performing arts sector has been boosted by "staycations" and an influx of foreign tourists encouraged by the weakness of the pound. However, the study warns that widespread public sector job cuts following the coalition government's Comprehensive Spending Review and an increase in the numbers taking foreign holidays may cause the rate of growth to slow in future.
Commentary: Arts orgs with higher ticket sales in 2010 -- what did they do right?
Posted by Rick Lester on his TRG Arts blog, January 10, 2011
When client organizations began posting higher ticket sales in late 2010, we took a closer look to understand what was happening. What were the forces that appeared to drive sales up -- or down? To find out, TRG fielded an internal analysis on a study group of clients representing large and small organizations across the U.S. and Canada. About three of five organizations saw improved ticket sales over last year. About one in four were experiencing sales declines, with the remaining experiencing generally mixed or flat results. Market conditions or severe weather appeared to have negatively impacted only two organizations in our study group. Far more important -- especially for those organizations whose sales fell short of prior year results -- were the artistic decisions about what went on the stage. Artistically challenging choices, in terms of audience appeal, clearly had a significant negative impact. That a majority of the study group witnessed increased admissions and revenues thus far this season is significant. It was clear that these improved fortunes were no fluke or lucky break. Foresight, coordinated planning among programmers, marketers, and leadership, and exceptional implementation worked together to make these increases happen. In short, these folks worked smarter under the worst economic circumstances of our lifetime. What did they do right? [Click here to read more.]
= = =
Is rock and roll music dead?
From The Guardian, January 10, 2011
Today, after years of struggle, came evidence to support the fearsome claim: rock'n'roll is dead. Last year saw the number of rock songs in the singles chart fall to its lowest level in half a century, with only three tracks appearing in the top 100 best-selling hits in the UK. The percentage of rock songs plummeted from a sickly 13% in 2009 to a terminal 3% -- far behind hip-hop/R'n'B at 47%, pop at 40% and dance 10%. The news that the best performing rock song of 2010 was Don't Stop Believin', a 30-year-old track from the veteran rock act Journey made popular by US television show Glee, added a further nail to the coffin. "It is the end of the rock era. It's over, in the same way the jazz era is over," declared the veteran DJ and "professor of pop" Paul Gambaccini. "That doesn't mean there will be no more good rock musicians, but rock as a prevailing style is part of music history." The problem lay, in part, with shortsighted record labels investing less in the talent of the future and more in instantly profitable acts such as former X Factor stars, said Gambaccini. "I feel sorry for rock artists today, because record labels have started chasing the quarter-term profit rather than long-term development." There are rock acts still doing well, but it is the old guard: there is now, it seems, little new in rock. "Promoters are panicking, because in 10 years these artists will retire and then where will they be?" said Gambaccini.
New app allows musicians to sell directly to their Facebook fans
Posted on Mashable.com, January 12, 2011
If you're in a band or a big music fan, you've probably despaired over the state of music on Facebook. Certainly, it's easy for a band to create an online presence on the social network, but there just aren't a lot of integrated tools for musicians to connect with potential fans. This includes opportunities for buying and selling music. Moontoast, a startup we've been watching, has just taken the wraps off Impulse. With Impulse, fans can listen to songs directly on a band's page through an integrated music player. They can share the music they find on Facebook and Twitter and buy albums or single tracks without ever leaving Facebook. Artists can track what their fans are buying and sharing, allowing them to make more informed decisions in the future. In the near future, Impulse will also be used for selling physical goods, including autographed items, physical/digital packages and more. We would even speculate that the platform might include a show ticketing solution, but that's not something that Moontoast has confirmed.