This essay on the Metropolitan Opera in the digital era by Ivan Katz has just appeared on HuffPo, one of my news sources. The Met has changed its union contracts to allow for all this new activity by ending the up front payments that were previously required.
Hmmm. He seems to be assuming that they haven't added after the fact payments to replace these before the fact ones. The last time I looked unions had not suddenly become managed by idiots.
The prohibitive aspect of before the fact payments would be that you wouldn't have any idea how much money you would make before you had made any. This way is obviously better for everyone involved. As long as the union payments are a percentage of gross, I fail to see a problem. Both the Met and the unions should clean up.
What everyone else is worrying about is how it will affect local opera companies. Will the audience feel like attending less professional productions with all this Met stuff everywhere you look. The San Francisco Opera is broadcasting into concert venues without charging anything. I was going to try to attend one of these, but waited too long. Maybe I'll go over on the day, and see if I can get in.
The higher objective is to broaden the audience for opera generally. Present audiences are primarily my age and up. Tickets cost a fortune. My own budget is starting to look out of control. You were wondering where the money was coming from for all the opera I have been seeing. I have started to wonder about this, too.