The New Venue: Live Streaming

About one year ago, I was getting ready for a crazy busy March of spring concert performances.  Our own version of March Madness.  Everyone does their spring shows in a very condensed 4 weeks.  And then COVID-19 changed everything.  Only two productions took the stage before everything was shut down for the rest of the season.  No spring concerts, no SERBA, no recitals.

I felt terrible for the companies who had worked so hard to stage their productions.  And for the dancers - both students who may have missed their chance to perform a principal role in a story ballet and freelance professionals who lost income.  Schools struggled to survive.  And I had to figure out how to adapt.

Gradually, dance schools in Georgia were allowed to reopen with strict guidelines.  Many of them offered classes via Zoom.  And I had a few clients contact me to see if I could produce videos of their performances in their studios with very limited or no audience present.  I had dabbled in live streaming a few times, but this was different.  I had to figure this out and help my clients find a new venue.

I made a leap of faith and invested in an OTT streaming platform.  "Over the top" is TV industry lingo for a device that lets you watch streaming video through your TV, mobile device or computer without a cable or satellite TV provider.  These devices plug in to your TV through an HDMI input.  Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku are some of the most widely used OTT devices.  Some smart TVs have the OTT capability built in.  I have a Roku TV manufactured by Sharp.  Roku also has an Apple TV app which enables you to cast your iOS device on your TV screen.  More on all of this stuff in a future post.

I started getting lots of calls about live streaming.  In a matter of weeks, we went live with our first streaming productions in September 2020.  Through my OTT platform, I am able to schedule live events and sell access to them.  Each purchase is like a virtual ticket.  Everyone who wants to watch it live must buy their own virtual ticket.  I share the revenue with the company or school to help support their productions.  Unlike a physical theater or studio space, there is no limit to the number of virtual tickets we can sell.  Or where.  This works all over the word.  We have had viewers from Tasmania and just about every state in the nation.

We did dozens of live Nutcracker performances, some in studio and some in theaters.  Not everything was perfect, but we learned in the process and got better at it.  The feedback has been great.  It is hard to articulate the value of watching a live performance.  Grandma and Grandpa can watch their dancer live on stage from the comfort and safety of home.  For many, this is priceless.

I am proud to have found a way to support my clients with this new venue.  One year later, we are booking spring concerts and recitals.  Many will be live streaming, others will be streaming same day or next day.  Take a look at our website for details.  And if you would like to learn more about live streaming your event, give me a call or drop me an email:  (678)749-7521