Monday, April 25, 2011

The Price Is Too Damn High

Can't find the original article, but came across this while surfing the tubes for some information about orchestra ticket prices.

Given the escalation of ticket prices for orchestral concerts in the last few decades, plus the expanding number of entertainment options, the mystery in classical music is why times aren't even tougher than they are. Quite by accident a couple of months ago, I came across a routine Philadelphia Orchestra press release from Nov. 23, 1975, announcing a subscription program. Tickets were listed at $2, $3.50, $4, $4.50, $5, $7, $7.50, $8 - with the top ticket price a big $8.50. A complete listing for the season shows the highest ticket for a regular subscription concert was $10.50. Converted into 2005 dollars, that would mean the top ticket price to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra today should be $39.33.

Of course, it's not. The highest ticket price next season will be $122 - an escalation three times the inflation rate.

That's from 2005. It looks like the cheapest per seat subscription price for the coming year is $15, which isn't too bad (seats are high up, but they're fine), they do have community rush tickets for every show, and also a good student ticket program. So it isn't all bad. But, yes, for the most part the ticket prices are too high. Even if we assume they're set correctly at a current year revenue maximizing level, it's probably smart to set them a bit lower than that if doing so can attract some new customers...