You too can have your own Playbill.

For an org with one of the biggest brands in the Broadway market, Playbill sure ain’t resting on its hind heels.  In the past 12 months, the company behind the familiar program-with-the-yellow-stripe, has added the following added features to what they do:

The Playbill Vault:  “The Largest Broadway Database on the Internet”
PlaybillPro:  “Your Online Index to the Theatrical World”
The Playbill Memory Bank:  “An E-Scrapbook Of Your Favorite Broadway Memories”

And yesterday, they announced yet another e-project (and the coolest and farthest reaching yet),

What’s PlaybillVIP?  Well, it’s a “Do It Yourself Playbill” for high schools, colleges, amateur and community production around the country world.  That’s right, your high school’s production of Hello Dolly can be promoted using the Playbill brand.

The Playbill is actually created online and can be shared electronically, and can also feature video, local ads and more.

Cost of the service for your community theater production of Urinetown starring your Mayor?  Zippo.  Free.  ($50 donation to a triumvirate of theatrical charities required to print it.)  They could have easily charged theaters all sorts of fees for the right to its monopolistic trademark.  But they didn’t.

Why this mammoth online expansion by Playbill?  Maybe they realized that the printed Program’s days are numbered, like books (see yesterday’s blog).  Maybe they are looking to deliver more impressions to their many Broadway advertisers?  Maybe they think it will continue to develop young audiences around the country?

All of those are true.  But frankly who cares.  Consumers are going to eat this up.

I mean, wouldn’t you want your dinner theater production of Shawshank Redemption The Musical to be served up with a Playbill?

(For the record, there is no Shawshank musical being developed, and there probably shouldn’t be, so . . . )


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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.