Wednesday, August 02, 2006

 

Nielsen Rating for Stage Actors (and Shows)

Using Hollywood-style data mining techniques and the Internet to contact hundreds of thousands of theatergoers, Live Theatrical Events is changing the way shows are marketing themselves, on and off Broadway. And its managing director, Joseph Craig, who has a long history in the film industry, is quietly becoming a sought-after player in New York theater.
There have been focus groups and audience surveys on Broadway for years, of course. Still, New York’s theater world is, in many areas, years behind the other entertainment industries in the way it does business and finds customers. That’s just fine with many of the veterans, who consider rigorous market research just another distraction from the art.
The first product [of the syndicated service of research data] will be the "Hot List," a biweekly survey of hundreds of theatergoers around the country, rating which actors they would like to see onstage - from theater veterans like Kristin Chenoweth to movie stars like Julia Roberts to up-and-comers like Amy Spanger, who is currently in "The Wedding Singer."
(emphasis added, from The New York Times). This is a more codified version of casting by google, where a producer gauges an actor's audience appeal by how many results the actors name gets when typed into google. At least one Chicago producer/director has used casting by google.

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