Is Diana the Musical the first domino in the straight-to-streaming market?

Is Diana the first domino in the straight-to-streaming market?
 
 
And you thought Princess Diana’s actual story was dramatic?
 
In one of the biggest stories to hit the Covid-infused airwaves of late, the Producers of the new Broadway musical Diana announced they’d be doing a performance in the next few weeks . . . for no audience . . . but a ton of cameras.
 
That’s right, Diana is going to Netflix. It will premiere on the streaming network before Diana’s (currently scheduled) May 25th, 2021 Broadway opening.
 
A lot of people have been floating the idea of shooting a show as we wait out the pandemic. After all, the sets are sitting right there in the theaters . . . and the actors are sitting right there at home.
 
It makes sense why Netflix wanted this specific show. Diana is a big brand and a documentary – two things Netflix audiences love. And, Netflix makes decisions on data. I’m sure they know how many people will watch the musical based on how many people have devoured other Diana content on their site. (Ahhh, digital stats – aren’t they great?)
 
Now, the question is . . . will other shows follow? Which ones? And will it happen during the pandemic? Or when Broadway comes back? And will Diana sell more tickets because of this stream?
 
So many questions . . . because it’s such an exciting idea.
 
What’s awesome to me is that Broadway is a business that does NOT like to take risks. But as I mentioned in this blog, now is not a time for a “We can’t” about anything.
 
And major kudos to the Producers and Creative Team and all the unions involved for going for it.
 
Because first, a whole bunch of people are going to get paid. And right now, our artists, musicians, stagehands and everyone needs the work.
 
And second, once one show does something like this, a whole host of others will follow.
 
Yep, a new model just got made. And it’s a good one.
Because it will raise the awareness for a new title before the show arrives on Broadway, which is the hardest thing for any new show to do.  It’s like releasing a cast album before the show opens.  (Waitress did this successfully in recent years, and of course, Jesus Christ Superstar was the first and best example of making a brand before Broadway.)
That’s right, I think streaming is the new cast album.
 
And I’ll predict it right now . . . regardless of how the Broadway show performs (and I’m hearing great things) . . . it will do better on Broadway, on tour, and for the rest of its licensing life, because they made this deal.
 
Now . . . what show will Netflix go after next?
 
– – – – –
We posted a survey about streaming on Monday . . . did you see it? Click here to ask your question about this emerging model for Broadway or for your show!
 

Your questions about going virtual, streaming, and putting shows online.

My first gig as a Company Manager was the 1st National Tour of Jekyll & Hyde in 1999. I was a rookie, and I made a lot of mistakes.
 
The biggest mistake I made was not answering questions before someone asked.
 
I would get asked about housing in an upcoming city, opening night tickets, and much more.
 
And often, I got frustrated and thought, “I’m so busy trying to get us to the next city. I’ll get those answers to everyone when I have them!”
 
Then I realized something . . . if these questions were coming up over and over, then they were important to my company. And it was my job to get them answers, even if I didn’t think they needed them!
 
Because if I wasn’t providing the proper information to my company then I wasn’t doing the best job. (Company Managers, Producers, Directors, and leaders of all types need to “read the minds” of the people they lead.)
 
After getting some great feedback from a mentor, I established a principle:
 
If I received the same question 2x then I had to provide the answer immediately . . . because if I got the same question 3x, I failed.
 
Well, I’ve gotten about 300 questions about Broadway shows, Off Broadway shows, high school shows, community theater shows, and ALL types of shows going virtual in the past 3 months. And with greater frequency in the last 3 weeks!
 
That means I haven’t provided you with enough answers.
 
So, I failed you. I started this blog to help with issues like this, so I fall on my sword and say only this . .
 
I’m going to get you the answers now. Whether I have them or not, or if I have to go to some more experts to help.
 
But here’s where you can help. I want to make sure I answer your TOP questions about streaming, going virtual, online readings, on demand, virtual concerts, and more. Are your questions technical, artistic, how to charge money . . . what?
 
If you are even thinking about going virtual with a show of yours or curious about how it’s done and have questions . . . click here to answer this ONE question survey about your biggest question.
 
Give me these 10 seconds, and I promise to give you a @#$% ton of information.
 
Because that’s my job.
 
Click here to take the survey and get the answers you want.

The Challenge of Creating Theater during Covid-19. Quite Literally.

As the pandemic continues to put a damper on everyone’s theatrical plans, it can be a struggle to, well, plan.  And I get it. Believe me. On March 10th, I said to my staff, “We’re going to have four musicals debut in the next 18 months!”
 
We planned. A virus laughed.
 
But we WILL get the last effin’ laugh when our curtains go back up. I mean, what a celebration it will be!
 
That’s what I say to myself every morning when I fire up my computer and challenge myself with . . . well . . . coming up with things to do to make theater . . . when we can’t make theater.
 
Over the past few weeks, I came up with a whole bunch of daily tasks, activities, and serious ACTION ITEMS to prepare for ‘Curtain Up’ day.
 
And you know what? They are working. They are moving my projects forward when it’s hard to move anything forward.  
 
That’s why I want to share them with you. And I want you to have some fun at the same time.  🙂
So last week, we created The 19 Day “Creating Theater During Covid-19” Challenge.
What the shutdown is that?
  • 19 daily video lessons from me describing a task (that I do) to keep your project moving forward.
  • A forum to post your assignments/homework.
  • Feedback from fellow committed TheaterMakers like yourself.
  • A “Get Produced” Blueprint WHEN you successfully complete the challenge.
  • And a few surprises along the way.
Does it cost something?
 
Yes. $19. (Get it?)
 
And we’re donating the profits to my Dad’s encouragement fund.
 
I guess we could have made it free instead. But I find that you’re much more likely to “show up” for something when you have to pay for it. True, right? (Why do you think personal trainers exist!). 
 
And I want you to complete this mother-chuckin’ challenge because I want your shows out there in the world when this is over. (And with all this vaccine talk – I figure we’re starting to see a glimmer of light down the road – so now is the time to get ourselves ready!)   And this way we give a little boost to the upcoming TheaterMakers at the same time.
Who’s in to make some theater?
 
The challenge starts on August 10th. Absolutely no latecomers.
 
Sign up for it here.
 
And prepare for some coronavirus-kickin’ action.
 
 
 
Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

Never miss a post or podcast again. Subscribe to the blog and stay in the know.

The TheaterMakers Studio Free Trial
The TheaterMakers Studio
Featured Product
Be A Broadway Star
Featured Book
Broadway Investing 101
All Upcoming Events

september, 2020

21sep8:00 pm9:00 pmTMS Coaching Call with Eric C. Webb

22sep8:00 pm8:30 pmThe Producer's Perspective LIVE!

29sep8:00 pm8:30 pmThe Producer's Perspective LIVE!

Featured Webinar
Path to Production Webinar
Advertisement
X