iPippin

When it comes to marketing, Pippin is one of the more innovative shows currently playing on Broadway. First there was a display of costumes in the famous Macy’s windows to kick off their ‘Back to School’ sale.
And now there’s this . . .

The opening night of the new Sydney Apple Store

Whenever a Broadway cast holds a Q&A and performs songs from their show as a publicity stunt, it is usually held in a bookstore. Why? Because that is where their cast album is sold, and what better way to make a couple of extra dollars off a press event than to sell some cast albums.

Well, despite holding their cast album launch in world-renowned bookshop Barnes & Noble, the most recent Pippin Q&A had a rather technological twist.

This Q&A session was held in an Apple store in Soho and featured appearances by majority of the main cast, a moderated discussion with the audience and even some special performances. So why hold the Q&A in an Apple store rather than a bookshop?

Is it a sign of the times? Are bookshops really so out of date? Well, in my opinion, it represents a couple of things.

Firstly, Apple has found a new market where it can have a big impact. Producing the cutting edge technology that they do (despite the debate about their vision after their visionary Steve Jobs passed away), it was only a matter of time before they started to associate themselves with the big tourist machine that is Broadway. And it is a good decision as well because hard core Broadway fans have their favourite performers and they are incredibly brand loyal.

That’s right Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Patina Miller and Sutton Foster . . . I would follow you off a cliff!

I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time before we see the incorporation of the smart phone into new contemporary Broadway shows. And Apple will probably be leading that charge with the creation of the iMusical – or some other ‘i’ term.

Secondly, I think it is a sign of the times. As nice as it is to own the physical CD of a Broadway cast recording, majority of my Broadway music library is downloaded from iTunes. And there are an increasing number of factors leading Broadway consumers towards the digital library. Such as the rapid decline of bookstores – the cast album mecca, the cheaper price which means more music can be bought for the same amount of money, as well as the desire to be on the front of a trend and own the music as soon as it is released.

What do you reckon the odds are that during the Q&A there was a mention that the cast album could be downloaded immediately on iTunes? I’d say they would be pretty good odds!

But most of all, I’m just looking forward to the new iMusical!

Paul Wontorek, Patina Miller, Matthew James Thomas, Charlotte d'Amboise, Rachel Bay Jones and Victoria Grimmy Photo Credit: Broadway World

Paul Wontorek, Patina Miller, Matthew James Thomas, Charlotte d’Amboise, Rachel Bay Jones and Victoria Grimmy
Photo Credit: Broadway World

What do you think? Is the move to an Apple store a sign of changing times or am I just reading too much into this Q&A?

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