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It seems it is about the price tag (sorry, Jessie J)

November 19, 2014

Last week’s entry got a lot of interest (http://www.theatreforum.com/index.php?/topic/79645-dynamic-ticket-pricing/); and also coincidentally seemed to be a theme on journalist and reviewer Mark Shenton’s website too (http://www.thestage.co.uk/opinion/shenton/2014/11/are-theatre-fans-being-penalised-for-booking-tickets-early/).

Those on theatreforum noted that it wasn’t really “dynamic pricing” as such which upset them – though when prices fell, it was annoying of course – but a lack of clarity in pricing.

Mark Shenton highlighted that too, noticing how the same seat could be three different prices at one show, depending on the date, and that you could save nearly £100 either choosing a different date or even picking a seat a couple of seats away with the same view…

Expanding the them by both was how hard it was to decide whether to book in advance or wait in case of a deal. Those flexible enough to be able to get into London quickly at will and only needing a single ticket (and not fussy where they sat or even what they saw) were doing fine. Getting the tickets they wanted at a good price.

Those living further away and leading busier lives, however, were less happy. Forced to make a choice or “sweat it out.”

I’ve been in both camps myself; right now, it’s really towards the latter to a great extent. I am luckier than most in that invitations to review balance out tickets I pay for (plus, all tickets I do buy are “tax deductibles,” so that’s an automatic saving) but even I get caught sometimes, having to buy seats to take a slot in the diary that I know would otherwise vanish. Yes, I know where the “cheap but good” seats are, but even so, I feel the frustration of overseas visitors too.

The clearer pricing is, and the greater range of “fixed prices,” the more audience members will benefit, I think I’d conclude. Another one for the marketing department to ponder, I’d say.

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