Niche streaming platform Broadway On Demand has partnered with Triple-B Media to create a free, ad-supported smart TV channel.
Broadway On Demand was launched by Broadway Licensing in May 2020 when the Great White Way shut down, along with virtually everything else, amid the pandemic.
Until now, the platform's content, including Broadway, off-Broadway, and West-end performances, was available via subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) service. In its first 12 months, the platform garnered 300,000 subscribers.
"We have monetized through the TVOD and the SVOD lane, and we will continue to do that," said Jeffrey Keilholtz, VP of Broadway Licensing. "Now, we are diversifying our revenue by adding another revenue stream within the FAST space."
Keilholtz said that Broadway On Demand FAST channel is projected to be featured on seven platforms including Local Now, making content accessible to more than 20 million homes by the end of summer 2022.
"We are extremely proud to provide Broadway On Demand free in over 20 million homes, expanding global access to Broadway and theatre content," added Sean Cercone, CEO and founder Broadway Licensing. "Triple-B's long-standing expertise in live television and the FAST space is integral in helping us to make everyone in the world a theatre person."
In addition to musicals and plays, Broadway On Demand features original programming, including behind-the-scenes shows and "Broadway Master Class," which was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Arts and Popular Culture Program in 2021. "
"Our concept is essentially to immerse the viewer and give them a 360-degree experience of the Broadway ecosystem," Keilholtz said.
It's rare to see a Broadway show online. While Disney Plus made a recorded staged performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton available in 2020, most Broadway producers are reticent to give streaming services access. But according to Keilholtz, Broadway On Demand is a giant live theater advertisement.
"We believe that our company has been able to help prove that there is not only a steady monetization stream for the IP, but that it is empirical brand discovery," he said.
"It's hard to believe that anyone who saw Hamilton on Disney Plus does not now want to go back and see that show in person," Keilhotz added. "It's like folks who watch a Yankees game on their Smart TV. They see that the stands are packed because the premium experience will always continue to be the live experience. So, we're not trying to replace the live experience. It's the exact opposite. We are trying to support the live experience by creating this additional mechanism to gain access to the IP and get you hooked to go see the show in person."
Currently, Broadway On Demands features Broadway musicals, including Allegiance and Bandstand, as well as London's West End play Into Battle.
Producers with IP rights to shows sold to Broadway On Demand either get cash advances and revenue shares or just revenue shares. "It just depends on whatever the project," says Keilholtz
In addition to reaching over 200 million households by the end of 2023, Keilholtz hopes to work with more Broadway producers.
"Our goal has always been to make Broadway the longest street in the world," he noted. "That means creating access whether you are in Shanghai, China or Boise, Idaho."
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