By 2010 Disney stopped the traditional strategy of charging one price for whole sections of seats; instead, the producers raised prices for busy weeks by making predictions based on “Lion King” data. A new interactive seating map allowed people to pick locations, and they often opted for better, pricier ones, Disney executives said. The introduction of the algorithm, as well as heavy advertising, caused grosses to surge further. This March “The Lion King” has been grossing $1.5 million a week.
Ticket Pricing Puts ‘Lion King’ Atop Broadway’s Circle of Life – NYTimes.com.
This is a great article by Patrick Healey in the Times. What I find so fascinating about this is that most producers aren’t doing what Disney is doing: pricing houses dynamically. Instead, they are relying on old, old models that sell tickets but do nothing to develop their audience.
The idea that charging more in the short term is going to make you more money in the long term is utter folly, but likely is something born of the experience of the old white-haired guys with the money.
Back in the mists of time, before computerized tickets and demographic algorithms, I did this kind of stuff the old timey way: with pencils and big sheets of paper. And maps. It made sense to me then; it makes so much more sense to me now as we have such fabulous technology.
No one else may have the resources that Disney has, but there’s no reason — besides stupidity and the unwillingness to embrace new things — that everyone should not be doing this. Why? Because, if you are a marketer: it’s your job!