Livestreaming Cultural Events: How to Engage and Grow Your Community

For the past 30 years, Jazz at Lincoln Center has entertained millions with performances from jazz heavyweights such as Wynton Marsalis, Cecile McLorin Salvant and Joey Alexander. But there’s also another notable achievement – it’s now into its fifth consecutive year of successfully livestreaming cultural events with Livestream.

In 2017 alone, over 4 million tuned in from around the world to watch live broadcasts of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s concerts.

As a cultural institution, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s mission is to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. Simply put, its focus is on creating shared experiences and common ground among jazz lovers.

Creating Shared Experiences by Livestreaming Cultural Events

“[Since 2012], we have grown a dedicated global audience for jazz through the platform,” says Aaron Bisman, the venue’s Director of Audience Development. “Livestream has strengthened Jazz at Lincoln Center’s brand by helping us connect with people all over the world.”

Livestreaming cultural events has served as an outreach tool for Jazz at Lincoln Center. “We have viewers from all over the world in real time. When you open yourself up to digital opportunities, such as livestreaming, you can speak to an exponentially larger audience. Why wouldn’t you make your art, music, and content available to the widest audience possible? It’s a no-brainer,” says Bisman. Since adding Facebook Live to its livestreaming strategy, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s total live views have increased 818% year-over-year.

While some venue organizers fear that livestreaming performances could cannibalize in-person attendance, Jazz at Lincoln Center believes those views have been disproved. “We’re four years into presenting free concert livestreams and our ticket sales have only increased during that time,” Bisman shares.

Reaching a Global Audience by Livestreaming Cultural Events

Located at the corner of 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue, 92nd Street Y’s audience extends far beyond its neighborhood and the city of New York.

“We are not just for a New York audience, so live video fits in perfectly,” says Andrew Krucoff, Director of Digital Content at 92nd Street Y. “The programs that we do are for a worldwide audience.” The institution has been broadcasting its events with Livestream since 2012.

Established in 1874, 92nd Street Y is a Jewish cultural institution and community center that brings people together through performance and visual arts, literature and culture, and education. Each year, the organization holds over 2,000 events in New York, including its high holiday services, special conferences like the Social Good Summit and The Fast Company Innovation Festival.

As part of its livestreaming strategy to reach a global audience, the organization broadcasts events to its Livestream account, 92Yondemand.org, Facebook page, as well as Periscope.

The ability to stream to multiple platforms simultaneously – specifically Facebook Live – has yielded impressive results for the institution. A recent livestream of CBS Sunday Morning to the show’s homepage and Facebook page recorded a total of 39,000 views, 1,300 reactions, 835 comments, and 129 shares.

“Being able to stream directly to Facebook is huge. Facebook is such a beast in the world. You need your content there. It allows us to collaborate with other organizations,” says Krucoff.

Connecting the Community by Livestreaming Cultural Events

Another institution successfully engaging its community by livestreaming cultural events is PowWows.com. A customer of Livestream since 2012, the organization seeks to bring together the Native American and indigenous community by demonstrating the diversity of cultures through dance and song events.

Since its first powwow livestream in Oklahoma City in 2004, PowWows.com has seen exponential growth in its viewership, from “a couple thousand viewers” to over 1.9 million views in 2017. Similar to 92nd Street Y, it is also seeing the results of its ability to stream to its Livestream account and Facebook Live simultaneously. In 2017, PowWows.com received over 2.2 million live views of its events, with the majority coming from Facebook Live.

Its live video strategy is underpinned by its goal to engage the community. “We like to stream because it builds our community, gives great engagement, and helps people feel connected to their culture,” says Paul Gowder, CEO of PowWows.com, adding that livestreaming is “the ultimate connectivity tool.”

Livestreaming gives followers real-time access to events, in turn creating more authentic engagement. “It’s not just in history books. People can interact with our culture and see it firsthand.” For that reason, Gowder believes all cultural institutions should be investing in live video.

“It’s important to educate the public on a culture,” says Gowder. “Exposing more people to a culture helps bridge the gaps. No more hiding behind things or not understanding it. You can dispel myths with livestreaming. You can see it, you can watch it.”


You can learn more about livestreaming cultural events and growing your community from our full webinar. Watch the video below to learn:

  • Why livestreaming is key to your event’s audience growth strategy.
  • How to grow your audience by streaming to multiple destinations.
  • Best practices from 92nd Street Y, PowWows.com and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Meet Vimeo Enterprise: Video for the way you work

If you’ve been a longtime reader of this blog, then you already know — video is a crucial communication tool for connecting with audiences, customers, and employees.

As people have grown accustomed to high-quality, consumer video experiences in their day-to-day lives, they have come to expect similar video experiences from the companies they work for or with. We at Vimeo realized we could do more to help businesses harness the power of video across the organization.

“Live video is becoming a necessity for companies. It’s the best way to get your point across to as many people as possible.”
Michael Weinstein, Video Studio Lead at Deloitte Global

With that in mind, we’re proud to introduce Vimeo Enterprise — a secure, centralized video solution for organizations of all sizes.

What’s happening to Vimeo Livestream?

Never fear, live streaming fans — nothing is changing with the Vimeo Livestream product you know and love. The team at Vimeo continues to support the Livestream product and users just as we always have.

Vimeo Enterprise is a new way to manage videos built specifically for the needs of businesses and organizations, with new security features, built-in Q&A and lower thirds, private video Showcase, and much more.

Is Vimeo Enterprise right for me?

If you’re currently using video to communicate with your workforce, or if you’re looking for a better way to manage and distribute your organization’s video content, Vimeo Enterprise might be right for you.

Our new, end-to-end solution combines what millions of users already love about Vimeo with the dedicated support and advanced features that large organizations require, like:

  • Enterprise-grade security with single sign-on (SSO) for viewers, private team projects, embed permissions, and much more
  • Private Showcase, a branded viewing destination that gives you complete control over your video experience, anywhere, now with SSO-secured access and live streaming
  • Built-in engagement tools like live polls, live Q&A, and audience chat make it easier than ever to drive viewer participation
  • Easy-to-use, professional live graphics let you add images, animated text, and logos to your live events, straight from your browser
  • Advanced video analytics to help your team better understand your audience, down to each and every employee, trainee, viewer, etc.
  • Dedicated support, when you need it with white-glove onboarding, dedicated account management, and access to Vimeo’s award-winning live production services
  • High-quality, reliable HD streaming with support and uptime SLAs to ensure your live events go smoothly, every time

Where can I learn more?

Read more about Vimeo Enterprise on the Vimeo blog, or sign up for our product walkthrough and see Vimeo Enterprise in action on October 1 at 1 PM ET.