Live & Touring

Concert Simulcasts Increase In Popularity

The Met Tops 2.2M Season Tickets To Broadcasts

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The Metropolitan Opera has proven that simulcasts of concerts have a future.  The company this season sold  2.2 million tickets for 9 HD telecasts to theaters this season, an increase of 400,000 from 2008-2009.

Last Saturday's broadcast of Rossini's was seen by an estimated audience of 105,000 in North American and 84,000 in Europe and Latin America. With delayed telecasts in Asia and other markets plus repeats, the Met expects its total"Armida" audience to reach 250,000.Thus far the Met's has sold 5 million tickets in five seasons of broadcasts.

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  1. I am not sure that the Metropolitan Opera’s success with its “HD Live” program can be extended to other musical events. Opera has several things in common with “regular” movies: it has actors, sets and a plot. Seeing an “HD Live” presentation from the Metropolitan Opera is like seeing a subtitled foreign film with a really good music soundtrack.
    This year the Met presented at least four operas which were guaranteed boffo box-office: “Tosca,” “Aida”, “Turandot” and “Carmen”. Next season the Met is offering a much more challenging schedule of lesser-known works, with only one hit Italian opera “Lucia di Lammamoor.” They will probably get a good turnout for the first two Ring operas by Richard Wagner.

  2. I agree with above and also think it has a lot to do with the demographic. I think this is an easier sell to an older married couple than a teenager.

  3. But it might open up some types of concerts to new audiences. There are a lot of people who enjoy live music, but who don’t want to deal with crowds, drunks, parking, etc. So if they can see something in a movie theater, they might go.
    I’ve started watching concert streaming online and it’s been great. I can see what’s happening without putting out any money or effort.

  4. One does have to put out the money for the Metropolitan Opera shows: $22 for the live transmission, maybe $18 for the repeats. And they are a large time commitment: most shows are 3-4 hours, and if one is picky about seating then you need to get to the theater nearly 45 minutes before show time because most live shows are near-sellouts.
    The Metropolitan Opera also benefits from being the premiere brand in opera in America, with a huge marketing operation including weekly radio broadcasts and their own magazine.
    Two rival organizations have done competing, but non-live, operas to movie theaters, and they have not had similar success. The San Francisco Opera gave up its movie theater shows after one season; the distributor Emerging Pictures continues on with showings of European productions, but they only have a fraction of the theaters the Metropolitan has.

  5. Here’s another distinction about the Metropolitan Opera HD Live series: it is a SERIES. Once an interested customer finds out that the Met operas are shown regularly in a given movie theater, it’s easy for the customer to check back and see what’s coming up in the next few months. Not all opera customers will like all operas, but most opera customers will like most of them.
    Popular music is a whole different game. Each concert is a separate event, and the audience is much more fragmented. Maybe some festival-like series packaging would make sense? For example, this week Phish, in two weeks Dave Matthews, in four weeks Moe, just to grab some hypothetical bands.
    Incidentally, the distributor Cinedigm was marketing a Phish concert in theaters this very week.
    Minor correction to the original post: this is the end of the Metropolitan’s 4th season in movie theaters, not the fifth. 2006-2007 was the first season.

  6. And I’ll put in one more note about the Met HD Live series (can you tell I’m a fan? 🙂 )
    Nearly every one of the Met’s HD Live shows is available for free on PBS television within a few months of the theater transmission. And, the Met offers an online package they call MetPlayer: for $15 for a one-month subscription, you can stream as many of the HD shows as you want to your computer. (Plus you get access to about 30 years of other Met PBS broadcasts.) That $15 monthly fee is less than ONE HD Live movie theater ticket.
    Neither the free-TV nor the low-cost streaming options have damaged the box office take; that’s probably because the big-screen experience really pays off for these productions.

  7. I don’t think I would discount the idea so quickly. The Metropolitan Opera series is conducted in one location and then broadcast to other locations.
    That’s a very environmentally friendly way to reach people. Imagine if a band stays put rather than touring.
    And let’s say you start building a community in each location. They make a party of the concerts, coming together on a regular basis and perhaps having drinks and food together as they watch. Kind of like a sports bar atmosphere where fans in towns around the country come together each weekend to watch their favorite teams.

  8. make it “avalible” and Promote it, no matter what the Show/Product/item/recording/DVD/sale etc…
    and they will “BUY” it…sales/marketing 101..( NYU N.Y.City)
    Joseph Nicoletti consulting/promotions P.o.Box 386Laguna Bch,CA #92652 usa

  9. Demographic ? … there are “NO” Demographic’s…. just All kinds of people that Love “All” kinds of Music/Film /Talent/food/..People are NOT in a Box!. or some lable anymore !…limited thinking is limited marketing & Limited Promotion.more people Need a “list” or a way to put Marketing in a “BOX” cause they really do not have Enough money to Market or promote the Product or service (so)they NEED a special Area they can Afford to Advert/promote in.are there any sales you’d turn DOWN ?….Joseph Nicoletti
    consulting. 386 Laguna bch,CA #92652 Usa
    ph 949-715-7036

  10. I found this old link. Here is a six-minute sampler clip of what the Metropolitan Opera offers in its movie theater transmissions. These Met Opera shows offer: swordfights, beautiful women dying beautifully, emperors, love scenes, violent fishermen, a suicidal nun, a cannibalistic witch, murderous politicians, and a tank. Will non-opera concerts offer the same degree of visual and storytelling appeal? 🙂

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