I, of course, have no problem with this practice. I do, however, find it deliciously ironic that the delicate Lefties that enjoy and embrace theater are so willing to allow such an evil concept as “free market pricing” to invade their world. Then again perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. Conservatives are more charitable than Libbers. And while the charity of choice for the cons is the church, the charity of choice for the libs is the arts.
The producers of Hugh Jackman’s song-and-dance-and-bump-and-grind show on Broadway were so bullish about his popularity that, even before the first performance last month, they raised prices from $155 to $175 on dozens of orchestra seats for the 10-week run. The bet is now paying off handsomely, so much so that the producers are increasing premium prices for the best seats in the house: what were $250 tickets are now going for $275, $325 or even $350, depending on the demand at particular performances.
I happen to think that this is a wildly fantastic idea. I think that people who sell tennis shoes should charge what the market would bear. I think the same thing about pumpkins and pencils as well. That Broadway shows be exempt is silly to me.
And roof that this works?
“Have I ever paid anything close to $600 for a pair of tickets? No,” John Joyce of Rockville Centre, N.Y., volunteered on Monday after mulling a range of prices at the Broadhurst Theater box office. “But my wife wants to see Hugh. It’s the holidays and it’s a surprise for her. So I think it’s worth it.”
So I think it’s worth it.
But doesn’t this type of free market based capitalism negatively impact the theater?
…a supply-and-demand strategy that is a primary reason why Broadway has weathered the economic downturn unusually well.
To the contrary. Because of this strategy, the industry is booming and allowing all kinds of people to enjoy continued economic success.
And perhaps the most inspiring aspect to the story is how these Lefties have intuited and come to an understanding of what this all about. See, in the past, when these shows would sell tickets at dictated prices, not market based prices, tickets would be scooped up by companies and resold at their proper level. But this only benefited the ticket resellers and the consumer; not the producers of the shows, the folks who performed and invested money. This now is taken care of:
The producers of Mr. Jackman’s show said they turned to dynamic pricing to help ensure that their investors and creative team — not ticket resellers — would be the ones profiting from high-cost tickets.
“People are prepared to pay a lot more than we’re charging, but nobody in the theater industry would have benefited,” said Robert E. Wankel, president of the Shubert Organization, a producer of Mr. Jackman’s show and the Broadway landlord for his theater. (It is Broadway theater owners who take the lead in setting ticket prices, with input from producers.) “By doing it through dynamic pricing, at least the people who do the work and took the risk are getting some benefits.”
See? They understand. They understand that the people who work and risk ought be rewarded. This is very consistent with what we believe should take place in other markets as well.