As I do on this blog, I have tried to give arts managers, and students of arts management, a systematic way of thinking about setting prices, for museums, performances and festivals, whether commercial, nonprofit, or public sector. There is a substantial academic literature on the subject, but much of it is aimed at the economics profession rather than practitioners. This book is rigorous in its thinking, but keeps the abstract theory to a minimum – no background in economics is needed.
A large part of the book (and it is not a long book) concerns how best to deal with the fact that of the people who have an interest in attending your show, there is variance in what sort of price they would be willing to pay. What are the means by which you can get those who are willing to pay a high price to actually do so, while also finding a way to get those who will not pay a high price, but would pay something, to also attend. And so the book covers discounts for selected groups, two-part pricing, scaling the house, discounts for memberships and subscriptions, and bundling of products. There are also chapters on dynamic pricing, and how nonprofit and public organizations price for mission-related goals.
I’ve taught pricing to students at Indiana University for a number of years now, and the presentation in the book reflects the outcome of my attempts to find how to make the subject informative and interesting. My thanks to them, and to all the readers of this blog who have followed me in trying to make sense of these questions.