Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra adopts Netflix model with $5 student subscription plan

Access to Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A²SO) performances just became a whole lot easier for students, thanks to a new $5 monthly subscription program.


The service is available to any student in a degree-granting program. It runs from September to April.


"We looked at the Netflix and Spotify models and wanted to apply that to the performing arts," says Tyler Rand, A²SO's director of marketing and communications.


A²SO has long had a discount program that gives students either 50% off their seats or a special $10 seat in a designated section. However, A²SO staff found that many students were only attending one or two concerts per season, so they wanted to add more flexibility and spontaneity to the ticket-buying process.


"We were hearing that one of the barriers to getting to a live show was the preemptive planning and research, and that sometimes there was just not enough time to plan things out," Rand says. "So we made it easier and simpler. Students just come up to the box office, show their subscription card, and get the best seat available. If it's a front-row seat, they get that seat."


Feedback from subscribers has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Rand. About 200 subscribers are anticipated this season. Rand says the program's appeal goes beyond cost and convenience.


"The subscription program applies not just to our mainstage classical performances, but also our Holiday Pops concerts and our movies and Broadway performances," he says. "There is truly something available for everyone."


Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at


Photo courtesy of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.