There aren’t enough streams on Broadway.
When you read the title of this article, did you think that I was talking about “streaming” streams? And how we need more shows streamed into homes around the world, like this?
That answer is yes, of course, but that’s not what this article is about.
Did you think it was about a literal babbling brook running through Broadway?
Nope, that’s not it either.
It’s about the other kind of streams.
The most successful businesses (and the most successful people) have multiple revenue streams. Amazon doesn’t just make money selling other people’s stuff. They make money (and a lot of it) with Amazon Web Services. They make money manufacturing their own stuff. And more.
Apple has physical products like computers and iPhones. They also have software, a music streaming service, a movie and tv studio and more.
People have jobs. They may also own a rental investment property. Or have a side hustle. (The IRS reports that most millionaires have SEVEN streams of income – so if you think your job is going to get you to seven figures, think again!)
One of the great challenges on Broadway is that Producers have very few.
We have ticket sales.
And that has to pay for the majority of what we do.
Shows live or die by what is in the box office at the end of the play. We can’t rely on food and beverage or parking or anything else to make up for any shortfalls. This is where we differ from our friends in professional sports.
Our second stream? Additional productions. Including subsidiary rights (stock, amateur, high school productions). But that only turns into something substantial if the original production is successful.
After that, you’re down to a small piece of merchandise and maybe some cast album money, if the album recoups.
Anything else that is made off the show on Broadway doesn’t go to the show. Not ticketing fees or that $12 glass of white in the sippy cup.
Note to all: this isn’t meant to be a whiny article about how we don’t get enough of what we should.
It’s recognizing that businesses are stronger when they have more revenue streams.
If we had ways to generate money in other ways, shows could run longer, theaters could stay booked, more jobs could be kept.
That’s why every producer and theater should ask themselves, “What else can we monetize to help pay for the thing that is hard to monetize?”
Broadway, known for its dazzling performances and captivating storytelling, has…
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.