Shuberts Plan To Shutter BroadwayOffers.com By Thanksgiving 2014

Shubert Officially Replacing BroadwayOffers.com with TelechargeOffers.com

Shubert organization logo2014 has been a year fraught with poor decisions by the Shubert Organization when it comes to Broadway initiatives.  First, they launched the malfunctioning website TelechargeOffers.com to offer discount tickets to their telecharge.com ticket-buying audience. Now, the Shuberts are finishing the deed, announcing that they will be officially shutting down their original, much more functional discount ticketing site, BroadwayOffers.com, by Thanksgiving 2014. The original website broadwayoffers.com has been around since July 2001, and the Shuberts have already purchased the domain name space and brand up until July 2021. TelechargeOffers.com is the much newer, much buggier and significantly less popular site than its older sibling and is the website that is supposed to take over. It has been a bad start for TelechargeOffers.com, with less than 40% of users migrating to it. No stranger to monopolies, the Shuberts figured out that the way to increase the new site’s popularity and acceptance was to destroy its competition, and thus delete the original BroadwayOffers.com website completely. It seems that the Shubert’s often make choices that suit them the best, but cause chaos and confusion in the rest of the market.

The Shuberts Rhetoric Is To Play Nice – But Their Actions Indicate Otherwise

The Shuberts development choices in this matter effectively give users fewer choices, more problems, and a more complex process to buy Broadway tickets: the very opposite of what the Shuberts’ mission statement actually should be. It is the perfect example of an arrogant monopoly at work in the 21st century; Carlos Slim would be so proud.
Time after time, the Shuberts talk of slimming down the process of buying Broadway tickets, making it a simpler solution, improving the customer experience, improving the mobile buying experience and working with the industry to develop a better ticket buying model. The reality is that this is just rhetoric and the Shuberts are not only horrendously slow to adopt new ideas, but never make a move unless its clear that it will not affect their virtual monopoly on Broadway. It could be that that the strategist and the implementer at the Shubert Organization do not talk to one another, or they have an intermediary that puts the kibosh on good work. But the reality is, the Shubert Organization specializes in politics and this is just another example of its inner workings resulting in inaction.

The Shortcomings of TelechargeOffers.com

broadway offersThe Shuberts want to force all discount ticket sales through the beleaguered site TelechargeOffers.com, but the new website suffers from usability andtelecharge offers gray performance problems. One of its biggest failures is that It demands that users install the dreaded Microsoft Silverlight product that brings performance and security issues to users’ PCs. Users must install this software product just to be able to use the new website, which means that mobile users and non-PC users lose a great deal of functionality. Microsoft Silverlight is used to render the seating map, but it is not a mainstream product and thus requires most users to download an otherwise superfluous piece of software merely to see a graphic that many other much more common programs could easily offer. Furthermore, TelechargeOffers.com uses an ancient and complicated CAPTCHA system, which requires users to input annoying digits to proceed and prove they are not a robot or mass user ticket broker. In general, TelechargeOffers.com has serious issues with speed, functionality, and reliability, and thus the shutting of BroadwayOffers.com is a shame, if not a travesty.

Why Did The Shuberts Take This Negative Approach?Seating Chart for The Phantom of the Opera Tickets at the Majestic Theatre

The primary reason the Shuberts decided on this path forward is because they are trying to increase sales of full price Broadway tickets. For instance, when a discount code doesn’t work for a particular day, they are effectively forcing all their clients to see the alternative tickets available in the hope that they will buy tickets that are available. They also think they can do lots of Broadway ticket upsells. This idea wouldn’t be so bad if the new website wasn’t a complete disaster, but as it has so many technical and usability issues, the plan is both unfair and unwise. The Shuberts have had ample time to fix problems that were identified back in our July 4 2014 blog posting, which they have chosen to ignore. It is not quite clear who at the Shuberts have dropped the ball on this development, but David Andrews, Senior Vice President of Shubert Ticketing, Peter Entin, Vice President of Theatre Operations and Charles Flateman, Vice President of Marketing have failed in their duty to the Broadway industry.

The Shuberts Continue Their Strategy of Poor Consumer Experience

Charles Flateman at Shubert

Charles Flateman, the VP of Marketing for Shubert Ticketing (formerly of Gray Line New York Sightseeing Tours and co-founder of Broadway Inbound), true to his past form, had no comment for this story and refused interview requests, citing the Shuberts’ (non-existent) policy of not speaking to the press unless through a press release. Somewhat confused by the request, Mr Flateman erroneously referred all questions to Charlotte St. Martin, the Executive Director of The Broadway League.

Broadway Week Coming Up September 2-15

Broadway Week_edited_3Broadway Week is back. Occurring twice annually, Broadway Week is a promotional event in which participating Broadway shows offer 2-for-1 ticket deals for a limited time. This year, Broadway Week — which is always more than a week long — is scheduled for September 2-15.

To take advantage of these buy one get one free Broadway ticket deals, ticket buyers just use a special discount code when they buy their tickets through their selected show’s official ticket seller.

While many Broadway shows take part in Broadway Week, not all do. Some top-selling Broadway musicals such as The Book of Mormon, Motown the Musical, Pippin, Matilda, and Kinky Boots are not offering two for one discount deals, presumably because they are doing so well selling full-price tickets right now that they are unwilling to offer any kind of discount, even for a limited period of time.

Broadway WeekInterestingly, though, the two most popular shows on Broadway right now, The Lion King and Wicked, are participating in Broadway Week. The reason for this likely has to do with the fact that Wicked and The Lion King have both been running on Broadway for a long time and have long since paid back their investments, meaning they can better afford to briefly offer a promotional discount.  That said, the discount allotment for those two shows have already sold out, so hopeful Broadway Week buyers should be sure to act fast next time.

To see the complete list of participating shows and to find out more about Broadway Week, click here.

Ann Offers Discount Tickets for Youth

Holland TaylorThe Broadway play Ann about former Texas governor Ann Richards may be closing on June 30, but in the last couple weeks before the one woman show starring Holland Taylor shutters, it is going to give young people ages 14-18 a special opportunity to get heavily discounted tickets.

The discount Ann tickets are priced at $20 each and are available for every remaining performance of the show, which plays at the Vivian Beamont Theater at Lincoln Center. They start selling the tickets each day when the box office opens, and they can also be purchased in advance for future shows. An I.D. is not required.

“Something in the spirit of Ann, herself, that she would love,” said Holland Taylor, announcing the new youth discount ticket policy. “Parents can come to the box office to buy their own tickets and bring their kids who can buy their own tickets. Groups of kids can come. Kids can come all by their lonesome. This is an unrestricted gift to the generation Ann cared about the most.”