There is a lot of talk about whether patrons will pay for digital content. I’ve always been (even pre-pandemic) in the camp that people will pay for great content. There is data coming out which shows definitively that people are indeed willing to pay for this type of content and some that shows they actually are.

The recent special edition Culture Track data shows that people find digital content to be quite valuable:

We also can see in the same report that organizations are seeing participation in digital programs from many people who have never attended in person. The percentages go up to as high as 74% which is quite telling.

A recent article in the New York Times itemizes some recent and upcoming paid livestreams.  One example of the demand for this type of content is a recital by opera superstar Jonas Kaufmann produced by The Metropolitan Opera that was viewed by 44,000 people at a cost of $20 each. Yes, 44 THOUSAND people.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art (located just outside of Pittsburgh) sold out every single one of their virtual summer camps in less than a day.

Florida Repertory Theatre‘s 2020 virtual gala which featured a number of performances raised the same amount as they do at their in-person event but also saw a marked increase in the number of people who participated.

These are just some of the examples that illustrate that people will pay for digital content. If your organization is contemplating whether or not to charge for a program or livestream, I would encourage you to try because you won’t know until you try.

About Ceci Dadisman

Ceci Dadisman is a marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience creating effective communications campaigns utilizing innovative, forward thinking methods. She is nationally recognized as a leader in digital marketing and specializes in multichannel communications campaigns.

A frequent public speaker, Ceci’s recent and upcoming engagements feature national conference appearances at NTEN, Museums and the Web, National Arts Marketing Project, Arts Midwest, American Alliance of Museums, OPERA America, Midwest Museums Association, and Chorus America in addition to many other local and regional events. Known for her easy-going and vernacular style, she creates open learning environments with an emphasis on information sharing and useful takeaways.

She is a member of the National Arts Marketing Project Advisory Committee and the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts Visiting Committee, and is a mentor in West Virginia University’s Creative Consultant program. She also teaches the arts marketing course at West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts and is on the faculty of Chorus America’s Chorus Management Institute.

Ceci was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts. She currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

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