We fitted every theatre seat with a facial recognition system to detect smiles and count them, and offered audiences the following deal: “Entrance is completely free. If the show doesn’t make you laugh, you don’t pay anything. But if you laugh, you’ll have to pay for every smile.”
Every laugh raised is worth 30 euro cents, which the way the world is going is a pretty reasonable price.
At the end of the show each member of the audience could see their account in laughs before paying for it, and even share it on their social networks.
The average ticket price was up by 6 euros on traditional performances.
The system was covered in the leading national media. This generated more publicity and, as a result, 35% more audience.
Each Pay Per Laugh performance took 7,200 euros, compared to the 4,400 euros they had been making before.
The Pay Per Laugh system is currently being replicated in other comedy theatres around Spain.
A mobile app was created to use as a payment system in other independent venues. And the first payment by the number of laughs and not performances was successfully launched.
Teatreneu is an independent theatre company which has seen an alarming decline in its audiences due to the economic situation and the increase in taxes on arts performances.
The aim was to break down consumers’ reluctance to choose a form of leisure like the theatre and so build up audience numbers and at the same time increase average ticket prices.
To free people from a complicated decision and get them filling theatre seats again, we designed a ground-breaking, attractive and “fair” system of payment whereby they would only pay at the end and according to the laughs generated by the show.