Providing More Engaging Experience to Theater Lovers

Breaking Boundaries: Discover how Playbill's disruptive approach revolutionizes interactions among theater enthusiasts and modernizes college application process for performing arts students.


Playbill: Broadway Digital Transformation Attracts Over 4 Million Subscribers

Playbill Inc., an iconic name in Broadway theater, has been serving millions of Broadway fans with their iconic Playbill booklets and monthly magazine since 1884. Recognizing the emotional attachment theater lovers have with their experiences, Playbill aimed to build a unique digital platform that would go beyond its booklets and magazines. The challenge was to create a user-friendly social engine that seamlessly integrated with existing platforms, offering a space for enthusiasts to connect, share, and plan future theater experiences. Also, they aimed to support future performers with a solution to help students find colleges in arts, drama, and music for performing arts students.


Discover how Icreon helped Playbill in redefining theater experiences and providing aspiring students with a platform where they could search for the best colleges and apply to the school of their dreams.

Case Study 1

Playbill's Innovation in Digital Community Building

For passionate theater lovers, the connection they feel with their theater experiences goes beyond the show itself—it extends to the Playbills, photos, and theater memorabilia that they collect and cherish. Recognizing this profound emotional attachment and a desire to build a deeper connection to the theater, Playbill recognized the need for a unique digital platform that could offer theatergoers an engaging experience through an interactive online community where users could record and share their theater memories. The challenge was to build a social engine that seamlessly integrated with Playbill’s existing platforms, providing a user-friendly space for theater enthusiasts to connect, share, and plan their future theater experiences.


The Solution - Memorybank by Playbill: A Personalized Theater Scrapbook for Theater Goers


Icreon collaborated with Playbill to develop 'Playbill Memory Bank', a dynamic online platform for theater lovers, catering to the individual needs of theatergoers, actors, community members, shows, etc.


Built upon the robust base of Social Engine, the solution included several custom modules that offered users the ability to create personalized memory banks. These contained details of shows seen, ticket stubs, photos, and user experiences. Users controlled the level of detail shared with others, encouraging an environment of trust and interaction.


The solution was designed to integrate with Playbill's 'Vault', a digital archive of shows, cast, and crew information. This allowed for an immersive and informative experience as users could easily access historical data of theater shows. The integration was facilitated using APIs to ensure seamless data interchange.


The Result: Playbill's Innovation in Digital Community attracted 4 million subscribers


Together, Playbill and Icreon created an immersive online theater community, amplified Playbill's digital footprint, and deepened engagement with theater lovers worldwide. The platform's integration of interactive features such as photo uploads, user reviews, show ratings, and social planning tools resulted in enhanced user engagement and a substantial increase in Playbill's subscriber base.


The Memory Bank not only fostered a vibrant community of like-minded theater enthusiasts but also expanded Playbill's reach and influence within the industry. Additionally, the platform's user-generated content became a valuable resource for analyzing and predicting industry trends, enabling Playbill to make informed strategic decisions. Built on a scalable framework, the Memory Bank ensured seamless evolution to meet the growing requirements of Playbill's expanding community.


Case Study 2 Unveils the Largest Database of 2,000+ Undergraduate Programs in Theater, Music, and Dance

With their expertise and recognition as a trusted source of information in the theater, dance, and music industry, Playbill aimed to guide aspiring artists in their pursuit of higher education. The increasing number of queries from college-bound students and parents seeking recommendations on the best colleges for arts disciplines prompted the need for a comprehensive solution. They needed to create a streamlined, dynamic, and user-friendly experience through that could translate Playbill's expertise and connections into a platform to help students navigate their educational options and find the perfect college aligned with their artistic ambitions, personal preferences, and financial abilities.


Based on the early engagement of developing a social network for theater enthusiasts, they turned to Icreon to revolutionize the conventional approach to college searches and develop a unique solution that caters specifically to the needs of performing arts students. 


The Solution: Built PlaybillEDU- A Comprehensive Database and Interactive Web Application

Playbill, as the trusted source of information on theater, dance, and music, recognized the necessity to guide aspiring artists in their pursuit of higher education. The need emerged while managing frequent queries coming from college-bound students and their parents, seeking recommendations on the best colleges for various disciplines in the arts. Playbill needed to find a way to comprehensively address these queries, help students navigate their educational options, and ultimately find the perfect college that aligned with their artistic ambitions, personal preferences, and financial abilities. The outcome of this endeavor was the development of a sophisticated, interactive web application called PlaybillEDU. The objective was to translate Playbill's expertise and connections in the arts into a user-friendly platform that could effectively serve as a "GPS to future in the arts" for every student with a dream of pursuing a career in this field.


In order to ensure the seamless functioning of PlaybillEDU, Icreon collaborated with Playbill to transfer their enormous database of university data into a more manageable SQL format. This allowed for a more streamlined organization of the data, which was essential for the proper functioning of the web application. The application itself was written in PHP, utilizing the Code Igniter framework to enhance its performance and reliability.


To provide an engaging and interactive user experience, the frontend of PlaybillEDU employs cutting-edge HTML5 technologies. It incorporates features such as Canvas, SVG, and web workers to deliver a standards-based, visually appealing, and responsive application. This ensures that users can easily navigate and access the wealth of information available on the platform. To further enhance the performance and reliability of the site, especially during periods of high traffic, the Memcached caching system was implemented. This addition bolstered the site's stability and ensured that users would consistently enjoy a smooth, uninterrupted experience while exploring and comparing colleges through the PlaybillEDU platform.


Through the successful combination of an extensive database, advanced data visualization techniques, and the latest web technologies, PlaybillEDU has become an invaluable resource for students, parents, and college counselors alike, providing them with the tools necessary to make informed decisions about higher education opportunities.


The Result: Data-Driven Matches, Unparalleled Success: Over 500+ Data Points Enable Ideal Student-University Pairings


Icreon's collaboration with Playbill led to the creation of PlaybillEDU, a cutting-edge platform that revolutionized the way students, parents, and college counselors search for higher education institutions specializing in Music, Dance, and Theater. Here are some strong business impacts: 


Improved College Search Experience: PlaybillEDU's interactive platform allowed users to access comprehensive and up-to-date information on thousands of colleges, making the college search process more efficient and tailored to the needs of students interested in the arts.


Increased Engagement: By offering a visually appealing and user-friendly interface, PlaybillEDU attracted more users and increased engagement, positioning Playbill as a key player in the education space.


Enhanced Brand Image: Playbill's expansion into the education sector reinforced its commitment to the arts and showcased its ability to innovate, further strengthening its brand image.


Expanded User Base: By tapping into the education market, Playbill broadened its user base beyond its traditional theater audience and attracted millions of new users, including students, parents, and college counselors.

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