New Pay Per Laugh System At Comedy Club In Barcelona

Not so long ago, the Spanish government raised the tax for theatre shows from 8% to 21%, resulting in a decrease in audience attendance by 30% in one year.

Teatreneu, a comedy club in Barcelona reacted by partnering with advertising agency The Cyranos McCann and came up with a clever new way to improve attendance.

Pay per Laugh is a new project that charges audience members according to how much they laugh at a show. Using facial-recognition technology installed in iPads attached to the back of seats, a count is made of how often each person laughs. This data is then sent to a server which creates and monitors the statistics. Audience members are offered free admittance but are charged €0.30 per laugh. However, the price for laughter is capped at €24. 

The system was a success, boosting attendance and generating great PR. Pay per laugh has

inspired other theaters in Spain to adopt similar set ups, and could be something we'll soon be seeing in our own theaters.