In Minneapolis, arts groups rethink ticketing with flexible options

Posted on: October 19, 2016

Arts groups are “rethinking the season ticket’s classic structure—offering more flexible packages, create-your-own mini-seasons and even Netflix-like memberships,” writes Jenna Ross in Sunday’s (10/16) Star Tribune (Minnesota). “In some cases, [the number of ticket buyers has] actually grown. Take the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, for example. [Since] 2004-05 … the number of subscribers has increased … including 3,000 people it calls ‘members.’ … In 2012, the SPCO began offering a $5-a-month membership. Members can go to as many concerts as they like, but … they’re not guaranteed the same seats…. The Minnesota Orchestra counted about 13,000 subscribers for its 2015-16 season. A decade before that, the orchestra had about 19,000. But over the past few years, numbers have been ‘leveling off and creeping back [up],’ said David Sailer-Haugland, a director of marketing overseeing subscriptions. That’s partly due to a boost in flexible packages…. Nationally, while orchestras’ revenue from traditional season ticket holders has dropped—by 17 percent from 2005 to 2014—revenue from customizable options grew by 67 percent, according to a study commissioned by the League of American Orchestras. By 2014, flexible packages contributed a quarter of the average orchestra’s subscription revenue. The study predicted further growth.”

Posted October 19, 2016

Photo of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra by Emily Charais