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Is the Subscription Model Dead?

  Box Office Is the Subscription Model Dead?

Et tu, Subscriber?

A Wall Street Journal article written a couple years after the recession hit hinted that the subscription model was close to meetings its end. That pronouncement was understandable given that subscriptions require a commitment of discretionary income that was no longer available to many. It’s been nearly 8 years since the recession, one that took its toll on the arts industry, and it’s worth asking: is the subscription model dead? A quick Google search of “theatre subscriptions” returns page after page of theaters still offering subscriptions. Such extensive and reassuring results begs the question of whether or not the model was truly on its death bed after all.

It turns out that rather than dying, the subscription model has evolved. Organizations are no longer depending on the traditional (First Friday, Matinee Sunday, etc.) fixed subscription option because it’s simply no longer feasible. Additionally, organizations are getting more creative in the ways they thank their patrons for being subscribers. (More on that a little later.)

Of course, we’re not suggesting that you do away with your traditional “fixed” season subscription. That option is still widely (and successfully) used by many organizations of all shapes and sizes. However, if that is your lone season subscription offering and your organization is experiencing flat season subscription sales perhaps it’s time for you to consider expanding your subscription offerings to include more intuitive options, rather than solely relying on the traditional subscription model.

Consider the following types of subscriptions that can be used in combination with your fixed subscription offerings:

Tip: Many organizations that offer flexible season subscriptions combine them with a tiered season subscription discount – the more tickets their patrons purchase, the better the subscription pricing they get. So, for example, on a 5-show season subscription patrons may get a 10% savings if they purchase 3 of the 5 shows, a 15% savings if they purchase 4 of the 5 shows or a 20% savings if they purchase all 5 shows.

Tip: Use interesting package combinations as a way of cross-selling your shows. For example, if your organizations produces musicals and non-musicals, you could create a package or mini plan that includes both. If the incentive is right, you may pick up new audience members for both types of productions. If your organization puts on a new work every season, try combining that with a proven production, leveraging its popularity to increase attendance to your new production

Subscribers? They’re the real MVP’s, and they love being made to feel special. In reality, they are special because they represent a segment of your patron base that has shown loyalty and commitment to your organization in a real and tangible manner. Putting their name in your program is always a nice gesture, but showing your appreciation to your subscribers can take other forms, too. For example:

Take your subscription offerings to the next level by thinking outside the box. Showcase your creativity by coming up with new and inventive subscription offerings and benefits that will help convert your ticket buyers into subscribers!

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Tix is a state-of-the-art, cloud-based ticketing system that features fully integrated access controls, event management controls, multi-channel distribution capabilities, and a robust reporting suite. We specialize in no-cost, feature-rich ticketing solutions for venues, promoters, producers, universities, theme parks, tours, museums, casinos, theatres, film festivals, concerts, night clubs, music festivals, race tracks, and more.

To learn more about who we are and what we do, give us a call. We can be reached at (800) 504-4849 or www.tix.com

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