Digital complements or substitutes? A quasi-field experiment from the Royal National Theatre
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Digital broadcast technologies have expanded the virtual capacity of live performing arts venues, but they have also raised concerns about possible cannibalisation of box office revenues. We report the results of a quasi-field experiment involving the Royal National Theatre’s live broadcasts of theatre to digital cinemas in the UK and find that, if anything, live broadcasts generate greater, not fewer, audiences at the theatre.
KeywordsDigital technology Theatre Field experiment Cannibalisation
JEL ClassificationZ11 O33 C93
We thank Albert Bravo-Biosca for valuable suggestions on the estimation and Veronica Meyer for her research assistance. We also acknowledge with gratitude the cooperation of staff at the National Theatre, London, in the conduct of the research on which this paper is based. Nesta funded the research on which this paper is based. All view expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors.
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