Happy New Year and welcome to another year of product conversations with industry leaders on our podcast, Product Talk. We start this month off with a fantastic discussion lead by our host, nate Product Marketing Lead, Patrick Blute. He welcomes to the mic Kyle Wright, the Director of Digital Product at The Shubert Organization, a company at the forefront of Broadway and live theater. Listen to the full episode to learn about the future of broadway tech, and how an industry with live events at its core is pushing forward into the digital market.

On the evolution of Broadway tech

The Broadway industry is a unique one in that its history spans over a century. That longevity is also reflected in its community members, with individuals sometimes staying with a company for decades. With digital being comparatively young, this allows industry professionals a comprehensive view of the evolution of tech within the live theater space. 

“What’s interesting about what digital means in that world is people come and work, and then never leave these companies. You have careers that span decades. So, the people who I have the privilege to work for today, in the 80s and 90s, started using credit cards, online transactions, and e-commerce sites. Over the last 30, 40 years, it has been a continual process. We find that innovation, particularly in the technology space, comes in waves.”

“We are no longer just focused on how we understand who’s sitting in our seats. Now, we’re really focusing on how to create better experiences. How to create more exclusive experiences and expand the worlds of the stories that are being told so that people have access to them in xR, VR, AR and immersive. We’re really thinking about the next 5-20 years of live storytelling.”

On discovery

Broadway is a 1.5b industry with over 14 million attendees in a season. As Kyle puts it, “that’s no small potatoes”. In a niche market with such high customer loyalty, cross-consumer opportunities are significant. Kyle gives listeners a peek into the Broadway Tech Accelerator and how digital entrepreneurs can push the future of live storytelling.

“We’ve really tried to be careful about how we select the people that we work with. Meaning, how transparent we are about the process, and how we provide infrastructure support. So, that has led to the development of the Broadway Tech Accelerator. Basically, it’s a more formal way of putting some guardrails up around our development and technology innovation, and how we invest in technology outside of our business, for our business, while also protecting these entrepreneurs.”

“Our goal is to push our business forward in three main areas. First; to create efficiencies in the production process. Second; to help market and widen our audience base to ensure we’re getting as many different voices in the room and sitting in the seats as possible. And third; to really think about how we meet our audiences where they are and how we push the boundaries of storytelling in ways that are supplemental, not competitive, to the live Broadway experience.”

On a post-pandemic return

For an industry that depends on groups of people enjoying an experience in close proximity to each other, the pandemic made a particularly poignant impact. However, the questions remain the same as in other industries. What is the best route to a successful return, and how to make certain that attendees are comfortable in the process.

“A lot of that development work is happening. We have a great number of product managers thinking about technologies that we’ve been using for years and how to tweak or, in some cases, overhaul them.”

“Keep in mind, if someone isn’t comfortable in the fall but maybe next spring, that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy Broadway. That doesn’t mean that they can’t engage with our stories or that they can’t contribute. It just means that we need to think about the future of streaming, and the future of world-building around those primary stories being told on stage, but in VR, XR, and outdoor immersive.”

About the host
Patrick Blute Transfix, Director of Brand and Sustainability

I am the Director of Brand & Sustainability for Transfix, a leading transportation solutions provider, combining tech and a best-in-class carrier network to reshape the future of freight. I am also a host for Product Talk helping bring product leaders together to answer the question: "What makes a great product?"

Provide your rating for this post
If you liked this post, please use the buttons to the left to share it with a friend or post it on social media. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Read more

Airbnb Product Lead on Turning Regulations Into Innovation

Airbnb Product Lead Colleen Graneto joins us to speak on how product leaders can turn industry regulations into product innovations.

Transfix Product Marketing Lead on the Superpowers of Building Product

nate Product Marketing Lead Patrick Blute on the superpowers available to product managers during the build stage of the product life cycle.

Patrick Blute: Products That Count Crew Member Spotlight with nate.tech Head of Product Marketing

Our crew member spotlight is on Patrick Blute, one of our incredible Product Talk podcast hosts and the nate.tech Head of Product Marketing.

/ Register for Free

Don’t be left behind in your career. Join a growing community of over 500K Product professionals committed to building great products. Register for FREE today and get access to :

  • All eBooks
  • All Infographics
  • Product Award resources
  • Search for other members

Coming soon for members only: personalized content, engagement, and networking.