Knowing who your competition is is vital to any organization that wants to thrive. And it is even more important to know as much about your competition as possible, and to even anticipate future entrants into your marketplace. As the article exemplifies, in the entertainment industry, you find not only cultural arts organizations competing amongst one another, but sports, movies, television, DVD's, and many more fighting for people's few hours of leisure time.
Many cultural arts leaders have opted for collaboration instead of competition, arguing 1+1=3, and that such an alliance will give them more strength and power against all of the other non-arts like competitors. A few years ago the Metropolitan Opera studied their television and movie theater competition and then used this knowledge to try to appeal to a new segmentation of potential opera viewers. They did this by launching metopera broadcasts in HD quality:
Of course the strategic move has had its skeptics. Opera goers quip that you cannot compare a live performance to one that is canned. Others worry this will actually divert audience members who would have attended the more expensive opera to this "lesser option." However, a true measure of success will be if a large number of new audience members are developed through this more casual point of entry, and if the movies generate revenue.
The arts world is watching intently on what the Met strategy's outcome will be. Of course, there is always a risk when you try to reach new segments of people and alter your product.