Your Local Symphony Is Competing Directly With the New York Phil...
...and chances are it has no clue.
In a 2012 survey, 29% said that a live broadcast was the same as attending a live performance. 16% said a live internet stream was the same. It was the first time this question had been asked in a major survey.
What do you think the number is five years later?
It's not the big groups who are being most affected, either. Consider this:
- Why would I see a local low-budget Butterfly when the Met is broadcasting Onegin live to my local movie theater next Saturday?
- Why should I go hear my small town symphony play Beethoven in the high school theater when I can stream the Berliner Philharmoniker to my living room in HD and surround sound?
Too often, the leadership of small companies dismiss emerging technology as irrelevant. They're too small, too poor, or too remote for it to affect them. A new report from the Canadian Arts Presenting Association shows that they couldn't be more wrong. The smaller organizations are most at risk of losing patrons to these media.
This isn't an emerging issue. Whether you realize it or not, this is affecting local performing arts now, and it has been for years. There are no easy answers, but any group that doesn't begin giving serious thought to this challenge is unlikely to emerge unscathed.
This week, the Canadian Arts Presenting Association's released a new report on Digitizing the Performing Arts. It doesn't offer any easy answers, but it does provide a lot of important questions. If you're managing a performing arts organization that wishes to thrive in 2017, you should read it.