livestream shows

Captures and livestreams of shows: what future after the health crisis?

Captures and livestreams of shows: what future after the health crisis?

Forced to remain closed, theatres compete creatively to offer satisfying alternatives to an audience longing for the emotion of the show. Captures, streaming, livestream, the initiatives are numerous. Are they simple palliatives or are they a real topic for the future? Here's a brief overview of what's at stake.

Evolution of capture, unprecedented development of livestream

What are we talking about? Let's start by differentiating between capture and livestream. While its development has accelerated in recent years and raises exciting technical and artistic questions (cf. The discreet charm of filmed theatreLe Monde), the capture format is far from being new. Fixed by recording and editing, it differs from livestream, which involvesthe real-time broadcasting of more spontaneous content. Other technical challenges, new interactive possibilities. Interesting temporal nuance: capture is often broadcast on a streaming platform and lives over a long period of time. The livestream is ephemeral and more likely to create the event.

A varied ecosystem, a multitude of actors

The filmed show today nourishes a composite ecosystem: 

- Capture specialist producers such as the Compagnie des Indes, Bonne Pioche, and a myriad of capture agencies. 

- TV channels and streaming platforms. In terms of novelties on this part of the ecosystem, we note the arrival of an actor who is positioned on the streaming of theatrical recordings: Opsis.com. But also the launch in February 2021 by France Télévisions of the ephemeral channel CultureBox on the TNT.

Website of the ephemeral channel Culture Box

- Venues that innovate by developing their own tools. Initiatives that can be seen in both the public sector (the Paris Opera) and the private sector (the Apollo theatre, the Mogador theatre). 

- Social networks are omnipresent to broadcast live, whether they are well established (Instagram, Facebook and YouTube), or more emerging like TikTok and especially Twitch. Twitch is a livestream platform well known to gamers on which public personalities such as presenter Samuel Etienne arrive. 

- New players developing livestream proposals outside of social networks with a real promise on technical quality. This is the case ofInLive Stream, Omnilive or Gigson.live.

gigson stregigson streaming
Gigson live website, new player in livestream

A way to keep in touch with its audiences and rejuvenate its audience

Among the reasons for developing an alternative filmed offer, one obviously retains the imperative need to maintain a link with its audiences. A link that is sometimes distorted by the current context, but which certain scenes nevertheless maintain with brilliance. This is notably the case of the House of PoetryArenametrix solutions client scene. In October, Olivier Chaudenson, its director, launches an ambitious live program. Concerts, musical readings, conferences: a variety of artistic events are offered every evening at 7pm live on Facebook and YouTube. Filmed events, some of which are intended to be interactive, as in the case of the "ARTE Radio Taste of Listening". Spectators are invited to react and can even ask questions to the speakers, which are transmitted live on stage. In terms of communication, every Sunday the Maison de la Poésie announces the programme for the following week by newsletter thanks to Arenametrix's segmentation, targeting and mailing tools. A strategy that pays off: since the first live show on 2 November, the 31 live shows offered by the Maison de la Poésie have been viewed more than 339,000 times!

Preview of a newsletter from the Maison de la Poésie

Economic models under construction

While free initiatives are still the most numerous, more and more places and artists are betting on the development of paid offers.

L’Paris Opera thus launched its video on demand platform "L'Opéra chez soi" in December 2020 and successfully monetized the live broadcast of three ballets on Facebook in November 2020. Result of the operation: 8,000 upstream seat purchases (at 4.50 euros) and 5,000 connections on D-day.

livestream opera
Video on demand platform of the Paris Opera House

Is it necessary to have the profile of an institution such as the Paris Opera to monetize contents live ? Not so sure. The Apollo Theatre also went into the adventure from the first containment, using pre-existing equipment. Its shows are broadcast live and offered at prices between 10 and 35 euros.

There are two other interesting initiatives in the private ecosystem. The Fridge Comedy Club created the event on January 30th with a line-up of comedians including Kev Adams, Gad Elmaleh, Roman Frayssinet and Maxime Gasteuil, with a paying entrance ticket. For its part, the Théâtre de la Michodière has chosen to join forces with Canal+ to try its hand at broadcasting the show. live of his play Friendswith Kad Merad, Claudia Tagbo and Lionel Abelanski. Offered for a fixed price of 11.99 euros per screen on 15 February at 8.30 pm, the play is only broadcast live and thus goes beyond the traditional recording format.

Apollo Theatre Live
Platform of the Apollo Theatre

A broader interest than just developing recipes

In addition to the development of new revenues, the monetization of these formats allows to symbolically confirm their value but also to free up the budget to take care of its technical quality. A monetization that can also be accompanied by a reflection on experience and merchandising with differentiated pricing according to the offer (a premium pack with interaction possibilities or the addition of differentiating goodies). And if these operations do not always achieve financial equilibrium, their impact in terms of image and public loyalty is not negligible.

What future?

The actors of the show are unanimous: as qualitative as it is, a livestream will never replace the emotion felt in a theater or an opera. Thinking a mixed model where the livestream is a complement to physical representation nevertheless seems promising in several respects. It makes it possible to propose new experiences that theatrical performance does not allow (around interactivity or augmented reality for example). But above all developing new audiences away from theatres whether for reasons of accessibility, geography or cultural practices. All that remains is to invent a relational strategy to develop the link with these new audiences and the retain. A subject on which the Arenametrix teams have a lot of ideas (see also on this subject our article "...").The development of cultural audiences"”) !

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