Thanks to widespread vaccinations, the world is feeling a little more normal every day. While COVID-19 forced theatres to deliver online streams and Video On Demand (VOD), don’t expect virtual performances to go away anytime soon.
In fact, 2021 is shaping up to be online theatre’s biggest, best year yet. So, here are three reasons why you should stick with virtual performances for the long haul.
It’s What Your Audience expects
No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to put a genie back into the bottle once it escapes. Especially if it stumbles across the world of online theatre. But they’re far from the only ones who can’t look away from your streams and VODs.
The funny thing is, these digital genies share that passion with one important group: your audience. And business-minded theatre professionals savvy enough to take advantage of this trend are finding tremendous value in live streaming traditional productions.
Believe it or not, virtual performances were popular long before COVID-19 came around. Every year, the hours of live streaming content consumed increases by more than 65%. Nearly half of Americans will watch something streamed online this year (compared to just 25% in 2017). Which is why it’s an industry worth more than $70 billion already.
A convenient, in-home theatre experience is your seat at the table. Give your audience the shows they want, and your organization gets its piece of the eleven-figure pie in return.
Increased Revenue and Engagement
A successful show is good. But do you know what’s even better? An online theatre experience that pays the bills, too. After all, you’re running a business. Not a charity.
An optimized virtual presence makes it possible to grow your ticket sales like nothing else. Because you’ll reach new audiences, find first-time theatre go-ers, and persuade loyal attendees to return for even more performances. As the saying goes, “The more, the merrier.”
The largest group of livestream watchers - a whopping 63% - are millennials. Making it easy to connect with this traditionally hard-to-find crowd. Considering their best years are (hopefully) ahead, forging a lasting relationship with this audience means success that has staying power for decades.
By offering a variety of viewing options instead of one, you make it easier for people to tune in at a time that fits their schedule. And you’re not excluded from any one location, either. Anyone from around the world can find your shows and become a fan.
The Opportunity to Tell More Original Stories
One of the most overlooked advantages of online theatre is low overhead. A more accessible, affordable performance option means students, independent producers, and amateurs alike can create their own original stories. And - best of all - showcase them for the world to see in just a few clicks.
Whether you need ready-to-stream plays provided by Concord Theatricals or a family-friendly virtual performance sourced from YouthPlays, the right script for an online performance is easier to source than ever before. And all these options mean your organization and cast can stand out from their peers in ways they never have before. Whether it’s licensed work or something original, taking theatre online enables you to be gutsier, innovative, and to take more risks in your production.
There are a million other examples out there. The point is, online theatre isn’t going anywhere because it’s a business model that’s infinitely scalable alongside in-person performances. The additional reach and increased ticket sales can transform your theatre program, and the right tools that support your online theatre initiatives are only going to get better over time.
If online theatre has proven one thing since the start of COVID-19, it’s that creativity thrives as long as you have the tools you need. As technology and art become increasingly intertwined, everyone deserves the support they need to express their artistic vision. On The Stage is here to help with our easy-to-use all-in-one solution for theatre ticketing, promotions, streaming, merchandising, and more.