07/30/2008 - The numbers show the problem:
In the 1987-88 season, 83 percent of the Philadelphia Orchestra's listeners were subscribers.
Last season the number dropped to 62 percent.
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The orchestra has made a number of changes in the last decade to combat subscriber-drain - more flexible exchange policies and allowing listeners to assemble their own concert packages.
But this fall it will unveil its most radical change yet: a membership program that combines PhillyCarShare's last-minute flexibility with amazon.com's marketing acumen and maybe some of Starbucks' get-it-anyway-you-want-it solicitousness.
The new program is called eZseat. Once you're a member, you can buy a ticket at a 25 percent discount at almost any time - from an hour before a concert to nine months before curtain.
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The program, whose research and development was funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Neubauer Family Foundation, will exist solely online. Members can print out their tickets, whose bar codes will be scanned at concerts by ushers.
Read the full article Orchestra Marketing Membership Flexibility on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.