Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Show-buying explained

Some of you have been asking about the theater shows I post on the sidebar.

I do not sell tickets to all shows. And of the shows I do sell, not all dates are available through me. I am not a producer nor am I directly associated with ticket agents like Ticketworld or Ticketnet. What I am, together with my partners in ticket2me.net, is a show buyer.

We buy entire nights of theater shows at discounted rates and re-sell them to you. Some of the seats we hold on to, others we consign with the ticket agents mentioned above. It's not a full-time job, and I doubt if anyone can actually make a decent living off unpredictable yet not very high-yielding investments. I have toyed with the idea but the figures just don't add up. Perhaps when we have a really stable Philippine theater market.

But then again if the market is stable, there would be little need for us.

Show buyers benefit theater producers in three ways. First, we provide them cash by paying for the tickets in advance. This cuts into their profits a little but they get their money sooner. Second, we absorb some of the risk. By paying for a show in full, we are making sure that they earn something even if the show (or just that particular night) flops. Last, and perhaps most importantly, we help push the product. As people who literally have something invested in it, we become their top agents, reminding friends and family to watch.

A mature market like West End or Broadway needs no push other than good reviews or big stars, which takes care of #3. 1 and 2 are unnecessary if the producers earn enough or have good enough numbers to get loans. Small-time investors like me are more trouble that we're worth in a stable theater market.

But until that happens, tuloy ang ligaya. We can keep buying good shows and offering you good seats.

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