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Why (and how!) to stream your event live in 2021

Art Festivals & Performance Events use Live Streaming to Reach New Audiences

There’s no question that 2020 was the year of live streams. From Zoom events and conferences to all-digital fitness classes, online education, and even virtual happy hours, we spent a lot of time in front of our screens. In fact, according to JW Player data across a network of 12,000+ publishers, we spent 40% more time watching video than the months preceding the pandemic.

With the rise in all-digital conferences and events, live streamed news broadcasts, and video content available 24-7, event organizers have had to find creative solutions to still engage with their audience. The show must go on! During lockdowns and capacity regulations, art events, music festivals, Broadway shows, and symphonies found new ways to reach existing audiences—and in some cases, even find new audiences and new growth.

As the world gets vaccinated and cities open up performance halls and audience capacity, there’s still plenty of reason to continue with live streaming of performances and special events. With low overhead costs and the possibility to monetize new audiences, live streaming provides a huge opportunity for digital growth in an increasingly digital world.

Experts predict that video consumption will only continue to grow—the pandemic only accelerated an already existing trend. Live streaming increased by 400% in 2020 over 2019, with JW Player seeing an explosion in growth in the categories of news, fitness, community, and sports. If your event or community is exploring live streaming, now is the time to start (if you haven’t already!).

Why live stream your art performance, festival, or event - 6 benefits

Why live stream your art performance, festival, or event

6 Benefits of Live Streaming Your Event Online in 2021

1. Connect to your audience on the screens they’re already using

The technology JW Player uses allows for TV-quality online streaming to be played at scale across any and all relevant screens. While US adults spent close to 8 hours per day consuming digital content, over 4.5 of those hours were spent exclusively on mobile devices. Live streaming across mobile allows you to reach potential attendees for your event or festival by showing up on the screens they’re already using. JW Player’s Live Channels works across the web, mobile, OTT, and even social media. And if you need the flexibility to monitor who you reach, JW Player makes it easy to protect your content with geo-blocking.

By streaming your event live, it’s possible to reach more people than ever and in the places they’re already consuming content. 

2. Reach a global audience with ease

Live streaming capabilities can be easily integrated into existing online ticketing systems. One Canadian symphony orchestra was able to go live and fully implement a video player experience for their customers within just two days!

Integrated into their existing member management system, over a thousand people tuned in to watch their first performance. While the national symphony believed the digital concert hall would be welcomed by their longtime members, an unexpected win was the popularity among new audiences. No longer limited by geography, classical music fans from outside of their region and across the country become members, to the point that 1 out of 5 attendees for their paid live streams were first-time members.

Since then, their endeavor into online streaming has amassed over 2,300 paid subscribers (with customizable membership levels averaging $100) and about a thousand households view each new performance live.

Not only is the digital concert hall bridging the gap for loyal fans during a global pandemic, but it’s also expanding the accessibility of live, world-class, classical music in general. For older fans or for those located outside of the city, the value of bringing the symphony inside of their homes is priceless. Digital symphony performances from this one particular orchestra have become a part of their complete marketing strategy.

Another example of a live music venue working across borders is from Watch Live Jazz. Watch Live Jazz is a unique streaming service that offers various live-streamed and on-demand jazz concerts on multiple internet-connected devices. People can watch as much as they want, whenever they want, without a single advert part of a subscription package. The live streams are operated from a venue, Club Cinetone, but reach a global audience.

3. Increase audience engagement & participation 

By streaming events and festivals to digital audiences, it’s possible to increase engagement. 

The Melbourne Fringe Festival’s 2020 theme was “Art of the Impossible,” and while the year proved challenging for every arts organization, Melbourne Fringe managed to pull off the impossible. Celebrating the tenacity and spirit of their resilient artists, the Fringe successfully broadcast over 18 days with non-stop art in over 250+ events—all digital via video including 40+ different artist-performed live streams. Their digital event reached thousands of viewers in over 50 countries, and still managed to succeed in a turbulent year.

Click here to read more about how Melbourne Fringe went digital with their event during the pandemic.

Melbourne Fringe digital festival goes live - case study

4. Better understand your audience with improved analytics

By measuring video usage of your event or performance, it’s possible to learn more about who’s attending and who’s watching your events. JW Player offers real-time Audience Analytics which allows organizers to know the total number of viewers for a live event by domain, device, and geography.

5. Generate new revenue streams at scale

It’s important for any event or festival to have a digital presence as much as a physical space, and with more consumers happy to work from home, event organizers have a huge potential to increase their revenue. Digital live events are relatively easy to set up and can go live in a matter of days. The potential reach when travel costs are removed for festival or event-goers is exponentially larger—and offers event organizers the chance to get extra revenue beyond ticket sales.

With the opportunity to reach not just their existing audience, but new potential viewers across the world, Melbourne Fringe used JW Player’s solutions for live streaming and video-on-demand. With a responsive account team at JW Player, a highly-intuitive user interface, and a cost-effective solution for all their video needs, Melbourne Fringe was able to put on a successful festival even during the peak of the pandemic.

Melbourne Fringe digital event

The Covid-19 crisis also provided an opportunity to broadcast more widely and reach new audiences. With JW Player’s casting abilities, the Melbourne Fringe was able to broadcast onto larger screens at the fraction of the cost of an OTT platform—and reach those attendees who may not have otherwise been able to pay the hefty up-front travel costs to attend an event in-person.

6. Make your content accessible 24-7 after your event

Live streams can be launched instantly in less than 30 seconds with replays available in under a minute to provide the best experience for all viewers. Multiple latency settings are available to make your performance or festival even more accessible.

High-quality on-demand videos after live streaming enable you to either re-sell post-event tickets and subscriptions, or offer a bonus replay of the event for premium subscribers. 

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How to set up a live stream for your art, festival, or performance event

Quickly and easily stream live events with Live Channels. Through Live Channels, you have the ability to broadcast live events to your audience. It’s possible to go live from anywhere in the world—whether in a studio, performance hall, or conference center.

Getting set up with JW Player Live Channels is easy. Learn more about the process to get started here.

Live Channel - event workflow tech

More than 12,000+ brands, web publishers, and broadcasters use JW Player technology to stream, play, engage, and monetize video on their sites, powering over 10 billion monthly plays. It doesn’t matter how big or small your event is, when you’ve got an actively engaged audience, you might as well offer what they’re looking for.

Today, consumers spend more time with online video content than ever before. Event live streams and subscription video content is the quickest and easiest solution for festival organizers to reach more people at scale.

With JW Player you can deliver broadcast-quality content to your audience. Ready to go live for your event? Contact JW Player for enterprise pricing and other solutions.