Company urges theatres to introduce real-time live-stream options for audiences

This article appeared in WhatsOnStage on the 18th August 2020. You can see the original article here

A new company has urged the arts industry to consider live-streaming productions more frequently.

A few venues, including The Old Vic in London, have experimented with streaming shows online while captured live in auditoriums, with the results proving largely successful – one of the shows, a revival of Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs, fared well with both audiences and critics. The captured production of Hamilton (though not live) was considered the most-viewed online show in the world in July, according to Variety.

The call is made by Leeds-based organisation Going Live TV, who specialise in facilitating such schemes. According to Going Live, live streaming now accounts for 82 per cent of all internet traffic, and is already a big hit for sporting events. It could be a financially viable option for some venues while socially distanced audiences remain compulsory.

Director Lianne Collinson said: “People are already familiar with content on-demand as it’s been a saviour for everyone during lockdown. Naturally, recordings of theatre productions online have also gained interest. But online archives can only go so far, so as live streamers we see great opportunity for theatres to broadcast real-time performances.”

The company has also emphasised that online streams can mean shows become more accessible both during and after the pandemic, particularly those with access needs or with anxiety around large crowds.

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