Superstar Economy (reblog)

HD-Season-Poster-2014

Michael Rushton’s latest post is about the Superstar economy, something I’ve occasionally blogged about especially as it relates to the Survivorship Bias. This blurb below recalls some of the things I said in my Savior Demographic post as well as some discussions in the comments section of that post.

Sport gives an interesting perspective on superstars. How is it like the arts? First, there is a consensus as to what is ‘best’: major league baseball has better players than the minor leagues, premier league football has better teams than 3rd division, and so on. Second, broadcasts of games can reach millions. This generates a very large amount of advertising revenue, and players are able to capture a good portion of those revenues.

But the reach of sports is relatively recent – world-wide audiences, increased popularity, are things that have grown rapidly in the past few decades, but were not always in place.

All this came to mind from a (to me) fascinating photo gallery in The Guardian, of English football players, in the 1970s, at home. The photo above is of Alun Evans of Aston Villa, and, while it looks like a lovely family home, it is not what we associate today with the lifestyles of premier league athletes. Pitcher Jim Bouton, author of the brilliant memoir Ball Four, was on NPR the other day, and he pointed out his average salary (in the 1960s), playing for the Yankees, was $19,000. I did a bit of checking: the average major league baseball player’s salary in 1974 was $40,839, which is equal to $197,000 in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars. That’s a high income, but not out of line with successful professionals in other fields like law, medicine, or business. The average MLB salary in 2014 is just under $4 million. Now some of that is due to players’ abilities to capture a higher share of the rents generated from attendance and broadcasts – of course free agency has made a difference. But most of it is due to the increased ability to capture wider audiences through broadcasts and internet, with the associated advertising revenues.

The post is well worth the read as it addresses the Met Opera and some HD cast issues I’ve brought up in the past.

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When Ticket Revenue Doesn’t Equal Attendance: What’s Opera Doc?

*THANKS TO AARON ANDERSEN FOR POINTING OUT A GLARING ERROR I MADE (see strikethrough texts below and my comment following Aaron’s)

I was reading a piece about the sharp decline of NASCAR ticket revenue and was intrigued. In NASCAR’s three publicly traded companies, all have seen a sharp decline over the years.

For example, at Daytona Beach, the International Speedway Corp.lost more than 40 percent of its ticket revenue, falling to $144 million” while the Charlotte Speedway Motorsports Inc.has lost more than a quarter of its admission revenue, falling to $130 million.” Dover Motorsports Inc. took the biggest hit “with admission revenue falling nearly 60 percent, to $13.6 million last year.

The piece gives various reasons for the decline in ticket revenue, and offers some solutions the different franchises are considering or actively doing, yet, this statement is interesting given what can amount to a loss of 57,000 (current capacity of Daytona Speedway is 147,000) butts in the seats:

Continue reading “When Ticket Revenue Doesn’t Equal Attendance: What’s Opera Doc?”

All Opera Companies in the US

This is just a short post about the new list I’m compiling of all opera companies in the US that I started a couple days ago. While it’s nice to see how much activity is being done in the opera scene since 2000, this won’t show us the overall trajectory of opera in the US and that’s something in which I am just as interested. Since starting this list of all companies I’ve also come across another 10 companies formed since 2000 bringing the number of companies formed in the 21st century to over 110.

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Opera in the 21st Century

This is an update from my post about New Opera organizations formed since 2000 a little over a week ago and the list I’ve been compiling since then. To date I’ve found over 100 organizations which produce opera.  Most of these are actual opera companies with a handful of what look like festivals or presenting organizations or new music ensembles which commission operas for performance by the group.

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New Opera Companies and New Operas since 2000

This is just a general call for any info about Opera groups/organizations or music ensembles which perform opera that have formed since 2000.  Given what I said in my previous post about the local opera scene in the area, a recent piece about the rise of Chamber Opera in New York, and what I’ve posted about market and audience fragmentation, I thought it might be interesting to see how much new opera activity has happened since the new millennium.

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