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.

IBC 2018 Recap: New hardware, software updates, and industry insights

This September, the Vimeo team was back for round two at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC). We had an amazing time joining 55,000 attendees from around the world to share the latest updates from our Livestream and OTT services.

Thousands of people stopped by the Vimeo booth, many of them checking out our Studio product line, including the popular Mevo camera, the all-in-one Studio HD550, and our new Studio One switcher and encoder. We also showcased the new features in our Studio 5 software, including the ability to use a web page as a browser source in your live stream, and add comments from Facebook or YouTube into Studio graphics.

Want to get up to speed on the latest additions and features to our Studio product line? Watch our webinar.

Insights from successful video businesses

Vimeo’s OTT service piqued the interest of many attendees, as well, in part due to great booth programming. We were thrilled to feature interviews with special guests from myriad industries, including British Telecom, action sports channel Insight TV, UKTV Play, Bollywood network Eros Now, and Ellation.

Through these conversations, it became clear that organizations and media companies are shaking off industry fads and zoning in on how to run their business effectively, plain and simple. One programming highlight came from an interview with Nate Daniels, Marketing Director at Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). A leader in faith-based programming, TBN recently transitioned their services — 32TB of video content — to Vimeo OTT in only 3 months.

Not only were they able to pull of a massive content migration on a tight deadline, but TBN garnered substantial savings by partnering with Vimeo OTT. Their use of Vimeo’s branded apps has boosted their app rating to an impressive 4.8 in a matter of months, further proving that it is not necessary to invest exorbitant amounts of money in custom features or a bespoke platform to provide a high quality app experience for viewers. We’ll be diving in to his story in an upcoming blog post; stay tuned!

Vimeo is proud to be a leader in democratizing live and on-demand OTT services for creators everywhere. Learn more about what OTT can do to monetize your live video content here.

How to engage and retain video subscription customers

Beyond programs at the booth, Vimeo also made an appearance during one of IBC’s Content Hub sessions. Vimeo’s own Kathleen Barrett, SVP of Enterprise and Head of Creator Success, presented at Growing an OTT service: How to engage and retain customers and manage expanding operations.

Speaking with other leaders in the OTT space, including executives from Integros, Paywizard, and IABM, panelists shared their insights and expertise to help content creators scale and sustain their audience, in order to succeed with OTT.

In case you missed it, watch the full session on IBC’s website to learn straight from OTT experts on how you can improve your customer experience and retention.

 

Interested in learning more about what Vimeo can do to help you monetize live content and grow your audience? Watch our on-demand webinar now.