Here is another article in our series about things going on around Rochester. Enjoy!
The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) certainly doesn’t look or function like a traditional business, so it probably didn’t begin its 2014-2015 subscription season like the majority (64%) of CEOs begin their fiscal years, with trying to increase revenue as much as possible.
Nevertheless, the RPO is closing that season with what the Democrat & Chronicle calls a “record-breaking single-ticket sales” season, with substantial revenue growth for the first time in four years.
RPO officials released a statement on Wednesday, June 24 announcing that the organization brought in $1.66 million in single-ticket revenue. According to WXXI News and the Rochester Business Journal, these sales were a 19% increase from the 2013-2014 season and 23% increase from the 2012-2013 season.
Even more remarkably, single-ticket sales grew during the 2014-2015 season despite a shortened Philharmonics Series, numbering four fewer performances than usual. Each performance was repurposed for five individual nights for non-subscription special concerts, and each one generated over $300,000 in single-ticket revenue.
As the Rochester Business Journal explains, the RPO’s season this year was “fueled by single-ticket growth” and these ticket sales grew by 6% during the 2014-2015 season. RPO officials noted that although subscription-ticket revenue was lower this season, the Orchestra saw a higher subscriber retention rate this year.
Additionally, the RPO stated that advance sales may provide strong revenue growth in upcoming seasons. The subscriptions for Philharmonics, Pops, and Sunday Matinee Series for 2015-2016 have already surpassed the final campaign totals for 2014-2015, and subscriber renewal rates are at the highest they’ve been since the 2010-2011 season.
Perhaps the RPO has finally figured out where to target its future sales, but as RPO President and CEO Charles Owens stated, much of the RPO’s success is due to Rochestarians taking a stronger interest in their community.
“It is gratifying to note how the Rochester community has responded to our programming initiatives in the past season,” Owens stated. “From Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ in concert to ‘Video Games Live’ and Audra McDonald, the box office results tell us there is indeed a market for artistically vibrant musical experiences that might not fit the traditional parameters of one of our subscription series.”