Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What's next?

It's crazy how obvious the next big thing always seems once someone else thinks of it.  How did Blockbuster not see Red Box or Netflix coming?  They're both way more convenient and affordable for customers, not to mention probably way more cost-effective to run.  This just one example of the seemingly infinite brilliant business ideas that have cropped up over the last decade that have total blown away the competition and changed the game for those industries.  One question that is constantly on my mind is:

What will the next big thing for classical music be?

The industry as a whole seems to be floundering to keep its head above water, but you don't see too many organizations trying something new.  When I say "new", I mean really new!  A totally unique spin on the classical music experience.  I can't claim for a second to be aware of what every orchestra, ballet, opera, and chamber groups are doing, but those that are having the most success are probably doing something totally out of the box.  Most of the organizations out there present a similar product in the exact same way.  How many organizations in your city are presenting the same kind of content in the same way?  If it's anything like Philly, I imagine it's most of them fall into this category.  

Some organizations really succeed in this kind of marketplace, while many do not.  So why is everyone still trying to force this model that has remained largely unchanged for over a century to work?  I totally understand that it is difficult to steer these large institutions in a different direction and that it isn't something that can be done overnight.  But I'm just wondering if many organizations can afford to stay on this path.  Personally, I think these groups should start running a lot small experiments and see if anything seems to work and give something new a try.  Is it the programming, venues, concert dress, or is something missing?  

What do you think?  

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