Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Marketing Culture in HD

New York's Metropolitan Opera pioneered the idea of transmitting live opera performances in HD to theaters across the country. It added hosts (such as opera star Renee Fleming) and extras (such as on-screen behind-the-scenes tours during live opera intermissions) that delivered extra value at an affordable price to viewers sitting in theaters hundreds or thousands of miles away from the opera house.

With modestly-priced tickets (typically under $25 each), the "Live in HD" performances attract good crowds, often selling out quickly after the schedule is announced. In the 2009-2010 season, the Met attracted 2.4 million HD viewers. Above is an extremely popular Met free summer screening outdoors in Lincoln Center.

The Met has also been streaming opera live online for a fee, to reach far-flung fans who don't want to venture further than their computer screens.

Now other cultural organizations have jumped onto the HD/live-streaming bandwagon.
  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic has launched "LA Phil Live in HD," a 3-concert series in 2011 with extras such as rehearsal footage and Q and A with the conductor. Viewers at theaters around the U.S. will pay about $20 to see the Sunday concerts.
  • The Berlin Philharmonic has been streaming concerts to its Digital Concert Hall for about 18 months.
  • Emerging Pictures is beaming opera, ballet, and other cultural events from well-known companies to audiences in theaters worldwide.
Watch for more marketing experiments as cultural organizations find new ways to tap into demand for affordable events and deliver high-quality experiences using technology.

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