Theater things that don’t make sense: Vol. 9

I got pitched an opportunity today to be a part of a group sales catalog that was being distributed to thousands of potential group sales buyers.  All that I had to do was buy an ad.

Seems like a pretty good deal, right?

It is . . . and I took it . . . along with the 2-3 other similar opportunities that I’ve been presented over the last several months from different group sales companies.

But here’s what I can’t get out of my craw . . .

See, the companies that put these catalogs together get Producers like me to pay for the costs of the catalog itself, the distribution, etc. and there’s probably even some money left over for a profit.  But when their clients pay for the tickets, they get a commission, so in a nutshell, I’m paying to make them money.

Shouldn’t they be responsible for advertising their own product?  Without shows, don’t they disappear?

I hate to begrudge someone a killer business model like the above, because these companies have done a great job in convincing us pay for their marketing.  But I can’t help but wonder when this practice started . . . and why it continues.

Like I said . . . I paid it . . . and I do think it is worth it.

And I will keep paying it . .  as long as there are consistent results.  If not, then we may have to find a more economical way around it.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.