All is currently great at the Met. The Met is a marketing powerhouse. The product has improved, ticket sales are up, subscriptions up are full houses are up and public perception has never been stronger. The Met pioneered this program of broadcasting live operas in the hi-def to theaters around the united states and Europe.

These programs have been a resounding success with almost one million tickets sold for the 2007/2008 season. Approximately as many people saw the Met in theaters as did in the opera house. Mr. Rosen claims that the Met HD broadcasts are a breakeven proposition with revenues approximately covering the incremental expenses nearly.

This can be an astonishing accomplishment, even if it’s a little misleading. This analysis compares only the “incremental” expenditures of the broadcasts. The cost of gaining the opera to begin with is not included. This cost is assumed to be assigned to the live audience. Unfortunately the live audience receipts only cover about half the cost of producing the opera.

If these costs were fully allocated within the theater audience the HD broadcasts would be definately not break even. Several questions come to mind when contemplating the Mets astonishing turnaround within the last 2 seasons. First – is this new model lasting for the Met financially? Second – what does this mean for all of those other classical music industry? Is this new model economically sustainable for the Met?

Simply mentioned – nobody knows. Every year the Met offers a publicly accessible accounting of its funds. This is actually the tax Form 990 for non-profit organizations. The final Form 990 on record is perfect for the fiscal season finishing July 2006, calendar year before Peter Gelb began the. 99M. For the year finishing in July 2007 should be public soon The Form 990.

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The speculation is that ticket sales have increased but that expenses and donations have increased dramatically. A couple of well-heeled donors have reached to their wallets to fund the amazing marketing programs deep, the significant costs of the new creation model and the HD broadcasts. Historically the Met has obtained about 50 % its income from donors and half from ticket sales.

Is the excess money had a need to revive the Met only a short-term need, to get the business “over the hump”, or could it be a long-lasting need to maintain the new model? If the new Met requires a lot more money to operate, and if that money has to come from donors, will those donors be there for the long term?

What’s Good For The Met Is Good For The Country?
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