Ask Me Anything: What are examples of Radical Pricing?

Jamie Alexander

Director, JCA Arts Marketing

Jamie helps cultural organizations understand the behaviors of their audiences and create data-driven strategies to continually engage them.
August 10, 2021

Last week at TLCC (Tessitura Learning Community Conference), we had the pleasure of discussing Radical Pricing ideas with professionals from a variety of arts organizations. As a reminder, Radical Pricing is an approach to pricing that puts extraordinary emphasis on making people feel welcome. It allows an organization to capitalize on high willingness to pay while making experiences financially inclusive.

We had fascinating discussions, where we wrestled with balancing access and inclusivity with revenue goals and identifying pricing practices that provide access rather than diminish value. We noted that Radical Pricing sometimes gets push-back, because there’s a fear of leaving money on the table or setting anchor prices low. However, it’s on us to build models that work for revenue and accessibility, and to do so with a rigorous focus on unbiased research and revenue modeling.

That said, some examples of Radical Pricing tactics we discussed include:

  • Sprinkling student, rush, and other socially discounted tickets around the auditorium (including in top seats).
  • Giving ticket-buyers three price options for each ticket: A “Pay it Forward” price (where an individual opts to pay a higher price to subsidize lower-priced tickets), a “Standard” price, and an “Open Concession” price (a lower price for those who are budget-conscious).
  • Re-scaling seating, and adding low-priced tickets strategically in the orchestra section.
  • Offering flexible memberships where a patron can pick a price that works for them (instead of basing pricing on pre-conceived notions of WHO needs discounts—under 35, etc).
  • Adding accessibly-priced tickets not available to subs or groups.
  • Holding back prime seats for last-minute purchase.
  • Making subscriptions and memberships available for check-out at the library.

While not necessarily a pricing practice, the importance of extensive training for front of house staff, to treat everyone with respect and dignity, was noted by one participant. This training is paramount to creating an extraordinarily welcome environment, regardless of what individuals pay for their tickets.

What are your Radical Pricing ideas?

Just a reminder….

We are here to help you get your prices right FROM THE START. Dynamic pricing is a fantastic practice for shifting prices according to unexpected demand, but it will only get you so far. Ultimately your revenue will be better if you get your prices right when you go on sale. We use data-driven practices based on behavioral economics to help you set your prices right from the start with a plan tailored to your organization, to optimize revenue and accessibility.

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