The balancing act of ticket pricing in subsidized performing arts : increasing self-sufficiency in the Norwegian national opera & ballet
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- Master Thesis 
This master thesis aims to find out how to increase the self-sufficiency of performing arts institutions without making the performing arts a good for the elite. Generally, large opera houses will never be able to carry their own costs. However, in recent years we have seen major cuts in financing of cultural institutions in Europe. In Norway, the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet (DNO&B) have been facing rising economic challenges, and the national economic landscape indicates that an independent, sustainable economy is more important than ever. The focus of this thesis is to see how one can change ticket prices in The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet to increase self-sufficiency. The data used includes a sales log from the 2015/2016 season, as well as a market research report from a survey conducted by DNO&B. These data are analyzed to see when different customer groups purchase tickets and which seats they choose. We find that sales are generally very high, but we also find that earnings are low due to the extensive use of discounts. We find that the quality of seat placement is more important to the customer than the ticket price. We find signs that those with the highest willingness to pay, pay too little and that there are too few tickets available for fully paying customers. Based on that, we introduce a new seat map with new price categories and prices. The estimate of the impact of the changes are 13.9-26.4 million NOK in higher earnings annually. The literature review shows certain similarities in all art audiences. The results can therefore be of use to other national and international performing art institutions. A greater emphasis on public demand and a more dynamic approach to pricing could provide a more sustainable economy and ensure that art remains an accessible asset for all.