Pay by consumption has got a new meaning in Catalonia, where a stand-up club in Barcelona charge per laughter of their visitors.
With a newly developed face recognition system Teatreneu in Barcelona charges for the number laughs instead of charging an entrance fee. The tariff is € 0.30 per laughter, they do however charge for more than 80 laughs (maximum 24 €) after that laughing is free. According to the management, revenues have increased by € 6 per guest and visitor numbers have increased by 35%.
The technique is based on a tablet with a camera on each back of the chairs and the program detects every time a guest is laughing. After the show, guests can see how much they have laughed and thus how much they paid. The result can then be published in various social media. Teatreneu has also launched an app allowing guests to pay with their mobile phones.
The origin of the idea was an attempt to reverse the downward trend that came after theater VAT was increased from 8 to 21%, when Teatreneu lost 30% of its visitors. The concept was developed in the theater of the large Spanish advertising agency Cyrano McCann Worldgroup, while the software originates from Canada.
According to the BBC there are now several Spanish theaters wanting to introduce the same system.