The Branding Potential for the Digital Transmission of Live-Operas to the Cinema: An International Comparison of Estonia and Germany

Abstract

Today, opera houses are confronted by new (global) digital media offers that enable people to remain outside the opera house while attending a live-opera, e.g. via livestreamed opera performances in the cinema. This is a challenge for media managers in these fields because they need to find new ways to work with these new opportunities. Within a cultural marketing context, branding is highly relevant. Based on the brand image approach by Kevin Lane Keller (1993), we use a complex qualitative-quantitative study in order to investigate if, and how, the brand images of live-opera performances and live-streamed operas differ between countries and cultural contexts. By comparing Estonia and Germany, we found that the perception of live-opera is rather a global phenomenon with only slight differences. Furthermore, the ‘classical’ opera performance in an opera house is still preferred, with a corresponding willingness to pay, while the live-streamed opera offer may provide a modern touch. The study may help media managers in adapting their brand management to include new digital product offers and to find targeted differentiation strategies for increasingly competitive markets.

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