Met’s Digital Simulcasts Proving Virtual Experience Profitable/Marketable

I’ve previously mentioned in comments that I’d been explaining both the immersive benefits of virtual worlds and the potential uses for digitally-enabled movie theaters to my senior citizen mother. I’ve also recently mentioned that she’d been attending digital simulcasts broadcast to a local theater from the New York Metropolitan and was raving about how immersive the experience was for both her and other attendees. Well, it seems that the simulcasts are a hit. The New York Times is reporting (Link) that the effort was a brilliant success. From the article:

The Metropolitan Opera says its simulcasting of operas into theaters, which has sent ripples through the opera world, was so successful over the last five months that it will expand the program next season.

Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said he expects the number of people who attend live Met performances in movie houses next season to match the cumulative audience for all 225 performances in the Met auditorium: about 800,000 people. Mr. Gelb also said he expects the series to make a profit, a word not often heard in the opera world.

He ascribed other benefits to the simulcasts this season. They increased attendance, although there is no hard evidence for this; brought excitement to the performers and other company members; and served as a powerful marketing tool, he said in an interview this week.

“This is considered by any standards to be a great success,” Mr. Gelb said of the simulcast series. “There was considerable skepticism about whether this would work.”

I never doubted it would succeed, and I suspect most people involved in virtual worlds or videogames wouldn’t have either.

I posted a couple of related comments to PSFK not long ago regarding the music industry, live concerts and Experience. Worth posting links to them here: “PSFK: March of the Pigs” comment (Link) and “PSFK: Technology Makes Life Pricey” comment (Link).

via CinemaTech