Amazon has upped its presence in the theatre marketplace recently, announcing it will now sell theatre tickets, becoming further involved with the artistic industry. As a giant global retailer, Amazon appears to see UK theatre – and specifically the West End – as an area into which it can expand.
Despite some cynicism, its entry into the arts could potentially be completely transformative for theatres. Amazon has previously been involved in the area of book publishing, for example, so this is not its first dabble into the arts. It is unlikely that the association of Amazon with the arts would be detrimental; ultimately Amazon will bring a whole new market for theatre tickets, as its customers are hugely global.
Amazon has a huge database to promote the arts and theatre tickets to, and this would also be significantly more diverse than the data of traditional ticket sellers. It is also a master in terms of ease of purchase with its one-click model – something that theatre ticketing websites have often struggled with, so it will be interesting to see these developments as they occur.
For tourists, theatre – particularly in London’s West End – is a huge magnetic pull. For many foreign visitors, it is one of the principal reasons they visit the capital city, in order to experience some of the artistic wealth the London theatre scene offers. It is therefore promising to see mayor Boris Johnson recognising the crucial role theatre plays in making people want to visit the city. Proximity to arts and culture are important to many people, so it is important to recognise this effect as a whole, not just for London.