Original content drives demand for online broadcasting
By Joe Edwards, TicketCo Media Services Senior Key Account Manager
A strong theme has emerged in the fast-growing online broadcasting sector – audiences will pay for original content.
When the events industry first turned to live-streaming in response to COVID-19, there was a slight concern among organisers that people would not pay to watch online shows, based on the mass of free content available online.
But as we reflect on the first ten months of supplying pay-per-view and video-on-demand services, the public has an insatiable thirst for original entertainment. And they are happy to pay a fair price for it.
The pandemic has created a unique situation in which people consuming shows at home are now the direct audience. This has resulted in an enhanced feeling of connectivity for viewers of online content. Additionally, people are now used to consuming content online and want to watch new material from artists and producers they like.
What content sells well online via pay-per-view streaming?
Having analysed the shows we have streamed; it is clear the winning formula is combining live performances with direct audience engagement during shows to make viewers feel closer to the event.
The key is supplying demand and making content sufficiently different to what is readily available online for free. At TicketCo Media Services the organisers which have delivered original content, and or, live performances of traditionally popular shows, have achieved huge sales figures.
Recreating live theatre on the screen
Examine your data and establish which shows your audience like, then satisfy that demand by adapting performances to screen. The advantage of opting for popular shows is the audience knows them as well as the cast. Therefore, they are destined to be popular which will help create confidence, engagement, and drive sales. The key to success is to perform the show live online and recreate or even enhance the beauty and drama of a live performance. This is what the audience misses and enjoys. Live shows can then be re-sold via on-demand to maximise sales.
We have seen that production companies who have added modern twists and interpretations to scripts have achieved great reviews and sales. Plus, those that have maximised technology have experienced greater audience participation. By watching an online live show people are treated to close-ups they may not usually experience in a venue.
How Birmingham Royal Ballet delivered the ‘best online experience’
The Birmingham Royal Ballet achieved successful ticket sales and audience reviews after adapting The Nutcracker for a live online broadcast.
To deliver a ‘theatre experience’ onto the screen Birmingham Royal Ballet provided an introduction guide and behind the scenes content during the intervals. Additionally, reviewers praised camera close-ups of the performance which showed detail theatre goers would not normally physically see.
The live stream performance was delivered on Friday, December 18 and an on-demand version then ran for a week in the run up to Christmas.
How Tall Stories used technology to enhance audience interaction
Tall Stories used technology to provide viewers with a unique digital theatre experience of its live production of The Snail and the Whale.
It used split screen technology so viewers could watch whichever part of the stage and theatre they wanted to at any point in the show, rather than a fixed point like on a TV show or film. They did this by using three cameras and offering viewers the opportunity to switch between the views. They also used our live chat facility to get the audience involved in the show. Each show was broadcast live, to retain the spirit of theatre and ensure audience interaction.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss online broadcasting
5 things to consider before live streaming events
A white paper by Simon Baker, The Stage Awards winners 2021, achievement in technical theatre
When I started in live streaming, I wasn’t sure of the steps, and I wasn’t sure if it would work or even if there would be an audience. I really did start from a blank page.