Here is why we think using a hybrid live streaming/in-person model could be best for your organisation.
The reopening of arts venues in the UK is officially underway, and we couldn’t be happier. People in the industry have a passion for sharing powerful stories, and it’s clear that audiences are craving entertaining and authentic experiences. But what seems like an easy return to normal may be a slower path at a second glance.
Though patrons are understandably concerned about safety, several other factors are at play. Simply put, people like streaming performances! According to USA Today, 55% of surveyed music fans said they would continue to watch live streams even after in-person shows resume. Of artists surveyed, 85% said they would continue live streaming shows even after giving in-person performances again. With so many people on both sides enjoying the Livestream option, it’s a fantastic opportunity for your organization to continue engaging with a digital audience.
For the streaming enthusiasts, what is the appeal? And why could this hybrid model work for your organization?
Not all venues will open at 100% capacity
This is great for social distancing but means a reduced number of people will be able to book tickets to live events, and gross profits per production will decline. There is also the frustration factor; patrons who want to see a performance in person may not be able to get tickets. Adding a Livestream option could increase revenue and keep all patrons engaged with your organization before normal occupancy returns.
Ease of Access
Patrons miss live performances, but not the other things that go with them: racing to a venue after work, finding parking, waiting in lines, or shushing a noisy neighbor. Livestreaming has made it easier to access great performances, and people appreciate having easier access to the arts. This also goes for people with disabilities who may have had difficulties navigating in-person events. Whether people tune in from home or attend in-person, make sure you provide access to a program and use subtitles where possible so that everyone can enjoy the performance.
Ambiance of viewing at home
Let’s face it: people enjoy having a cocktail or glass of wine while watching a performance or even enjoying a meal with their music. Since many theatres had strict “no food, no drinks” policies even before the pandemic, people are enjoying the flexibility that live streaming offers them. As patrons start to attend in person, consider surveying them to understand what they enjoyed most about their home viewing experience to learn how you could make their in-person experience more enjoyable.
In many theaters, some seats will not give you the best or closest views of the performance. Livestreaming levels the playing field, giving everyone a front-row seat. Not only are the sound and video quality exceptional, there are interactive features such as meet-and-greet artist chats, merch sales, and the ability for friends to form watch parties together. Some patrons wouldn’t trade the in-person experience because they love the energy and feel magic in the room. Others love watching at home because they get better views of the performers and a cinematic experience. Both preferences are valid, and by offering both options, you’ll widen the reach for your programming and subsequently increase revenue for your organization.
When live streaming started in 2020, it was seen as an emergency measure to keep artists and venues afloat, and many people thought it would be temporary. But now that theatres are beginning to reopen, both audiences and artists have a desire for live streaming to continue. Some see live streaming as a pale comparison to in-person performances, while others see it as a more comfortable and accessible way to enjoy art. This is why we recommend the live streaming and in-person hybrid model to meet everyone’s preferences and to keep your organization at the center of reopening.
Do you have plans to continue live streaming after reopening? What factors went into making your decision? Let us know on our social channels!