How pay-per-view live streaming helps theatres survive

by | Oct 16, 2020

Most theatres remain closed in the UK.

COVID-19 has left many performers and supporting event staff struggling for work, theatres at risk of closure, and theatre lovers missing live culture. Sadly, some much-loved venues have now closed permanently as the financial strain bites.

It has sparked a passionate and determined public campaign led by artists and theatre lovers on social media and in the main stream media for increased government financial support to save theatres. The #saveourtheatres campaign has gained huge traction and demonstrates how important theatres are in the UK.

But there is an alternative that can help theatres and the industry survive, it is: pay-per-view live streaming.

TicketCo created and launched TicketCo TV in response to the pandemic earlier this year. The live streaming and video on demand service is combined with our ticketing platform so organisers and artists can monetise digital content and events. And all via one platform.

Several production companies and theatres have partnered with TicketCo this summer and autumn to broadcast live shows to a global audience online and generate vital revenue.

Here are some of the highlights.

Wise Children

Lockdown struck when musical Romantics Anonymous was about to tour the USA as the Wise Children and Plus Theatricals production.

After months on hold Wise Children turned to TicketCo TV to enable the show to get back on the road. Instead of touring the USA the cast returned to the Bristol Old Vic and performed the musical live for one week.

It broadcast each performance to an online global audience via TicketCo TV’s pay-per-view streaming service last month.

And it was a roaring success with great reviews and bumper global ticket sales. So much so Wise Children have announced a new live production ‘The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk’ will be broadcast via TicketCo TV from the Old Vic Bristol in December.

“Partnering with TicketCo TV opened this opportunity for us to perform again,” said Wise Children founder Emma Rice. “There are no barriers to reaching existing audiences and new ones and the cost is not prohibitive. Plus, the tickets sales function is combined with the streaming service, which makes buying tickets easy for our customers.”

The beauty of pay-per-view live streaming enabling artists to perform and the public still having access to live shows was not lost on renowned theatre critic Patrick Marmion.

In his review of Romantics Anonymous in the Daily Mail he commented: “Perhaps the most exciting thing about this is that it’s happening at all. The TicketCo app worked a treat on my TV; and you can log on from a phone or computer. So maybe it will trigger a whole new sub-genre of theatre online.”

Supporting regional theatres

Tall Stories is presenting its acclaimed stage reimagining of ‘The Snail and the Whale’ in a series of live-streamed performances this month. Each individual performance in the virtual tour will be linked to and marketed to a regional UK theatre. It is designed to support regional theatres, with audiences encouraged to purchase tickets to the performance linked to their local theatre.

The production will be broadcasted live through TicketCo TV from Tall Stories’ studio and performance space in Islington Central Library, London. The production is inspired by the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Families will be encouraged to join in with the shows at home through games and songs and can interact with the artists via TicketCo TV’s live chat function.

Tall Stories are working with theatres across the Country to deliver online events via Ticketco TV, including: the Lowry, Salford; Derby Theatre; Hertford Theatre; New Theatre, Cardiff; The Belgrade, Coventry; Theatre Royal, Nottingham; Birmingham Town Hall; Eden Court, Inverness; Brighton Dome; Dundee Rep and Plymouth Theatre Royal; The Pleasance, London; Curve, Leicester and the Town House, Hamilton and Lanark Memorial Hall.

“This is exactly what TicketCo TV was created for, to support theatres and artists by keeping productions alive and it works,” said Joe Edwards of TicketCo TV.

Returning to the stage

Blackeyed Theatre’s production of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde took place last month at the South Hill Park Arts Centre in Berkshire.

It was the company’s first live production since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down theatres. Blackeyed Theatre partnered with TicketCo TV to live stream the production online and it remains available to watch via our video n demand function.

The drama was adapted and directed by Nick Lane and stared Blake Kubena as Henry Jekyll / Edward Hyde, Zach Lee as Gabriel Utterson, Paige Round as Eleanor Lanyon, and Ashley Sean-Cook as Hastings Lanyon.

The Southbank Centre

London’s Southbank Centre is live streaming a series of exclusive literary events from around the world, via TicketCo TV.

Europe’s largest centre for the arts was forced to close its doors due to the pandemic. But our technology is helping it stage performances again – and broadcast each one globally online.

It is presenting Inside Out across this Autumn season with more than 40 events bringing music, literature, and comedy back to the Royal Festival Hall. It is designed to stand in place of the Southbank Centre’s annual flagship London Literature Festival that was cancelled.

The series of literary events have achieved great virtual ticket sales.

“It is fantastic to see our innovative tech combining with live entertainment to connect with so many people globally,” said Joe Edwards, TicketCo Senior Key Account Manager. “It is enabling the Southbank Centre to keep performing, generate revenue and develop its audience globally.”

Easy on-boarding

TicketCo TV is available to all theatres and production companies. At TicketCo we have built our business on the foundation of providing an easy to use digital platform for event organisers, artists, and venues to sell tickets and market their events. We develop our own technology and provide a service and platform that is relevant in the digital age.

No up-front costs

TicketCo TV charges a fixed percentage of ticketing sales, so there is no up-front cost to organisers and venues. If you would like to discuss pay-per-view live streaming and how it could help you, please fill our contact form.

Attend a webinar to learn more

TicketCo TV is only a few clicks away for any UK organiser to utilise. No up front investment required. A fixed 8% fee on revenue with great up-selling commercial capabilities.

Please register for our webinar on Friday 23rd October at 11AM, or 2PM to learn more.