Predicting the Future

Why try to predict the future when you can simply ask your future audiences? In the face of changing markets, this question is driving Victorian Opera as it aims to make its offerings more appealing to younger generations (and subsequently future audiences).


Art changes. Popular music has changed overtime from the traditional baroque offerings of Bach in the 17th and 18th century through to the offerings from Lady Gaga, Imagine Dragons and One Direction which fills arenas today. Popular art has changed from the romantic renaissance paintings to interactive installations found in the world’s galleries. And the mediums through which audiences interact with such creations has changed dramatically over time.

And opera is not exempt from these changes. It is changing in its own unique way to satisfy 21st century audiences and maintain relevant to the current marketplace – a change which is never-ending if the art form is to remain relevant.

While this relevance may be the goal of many service providing organisations, it is often easier to ignore the change and put it in the ‘Too Hard’ basket. Instead the easy response is to satisfy the needs of the current audience.

But is it really that difficult to predict the future? Victorian Opera appears to have found their own future-predicting crystal ball!

Victorian Opera have a specific subscriber package for people under 30 called VOyage – a trend which is taking off around the entertainment world at the moment. But rather than purely offer these interested young consumers discounts, they have taken it a step further. They are asking for feedback.

Check out this segment from the VOyage email they sent out today:

Opera may be facing dramatic changes around the world, but our VOyage community can take us into the 21st century. After all you are the ones who will keep opera real. What we hope is that you – our 30 and under audience – tell us how we can stay relevant, tell us when we make a mistake, help us preserve our art and share your VOyage with others.

What an awesome approach!

Chances are the people who are currently VOyage members will be leading the charge for other members of their social groups to get involved in the future offering of opera. But in order for this effective word of mouth promotion to happen, these consumers have to be sure that their friends will enjoy the experience. So why not give them a direct line to the decision makers. Listen to what they are saying about the current state of opera and what needs to be done to increase its appeal to them and their friends.

You may not have a crystal ball, but it is these people who are going to make up your future audience – so it is a great idea to actually listen to what they think of your current services and how you can make the experience even better. Satisfy these people and they will be loyal consumers for the next 50 years.