In case you hadn’t already guessed, I’m a guy who sets pretty high expectations for myself. In my work, as a husband in my new marriage, in my golf game, etc.
So when I decided that Daddy Long Legs would be the first ever Broadway or Off Broadway show to be livestreamed around the country . . . I set some pretty high expectations for what it would look like, how many people would tune in, what the audience would think of the show, and more.
And, well, thanks to all of those passionate theatergoers out there in the world, we exceeded even my super high expectations. (My favorite part was when we trended NATIONALLY on Twitter, even overtaking #GoldenGlobes. Those movies think they are so cool.)
I’m a big believer that to be a big business, you have to behave like a big business. And since television and film reveal their Nielsen-esque stats to the public, I wanted to do the same thing with the livestream of Daddy Long Legs.
Because this was the first time this has ever been done on or Off Broadway, we’re going to reveal much more than just the number of eyeballs. Through the raw data provided by my tech and production partner, Livestream.com, combined with thousands of responses to a survey we gave our viewers, we found out all sorts of answers to the habits and the desires of the livestreaming theatrical audience . . . including where they came from, how they watched, and how much they’d pay for an experience like this in the future.
And, we put all of this and a whole lot more in the infographic below.
But, let me give you my quick top line “Executive Summary” before I let you dig into the infographic.
You ready? Cuz after you read this, I think you’ll agree, that the theater can never go back . . .
First, the number you’ve been waiting for . . .
HOW MANY PEOPLE WATCHED THE LIVESTREAM?
150,055 people watched the livestream, which is the equivalent of 2.7 years of sold-out houses in our 130-seat theater, and 10.4 weeks of sold-out performances of Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway. And we got ’em all in one 24-hour period. This is exactly the steroid shot of word-of-mouth that smaller and less brand-tastic shows need to get noticed by the traditional audience.
What makes this number even larger than it seems, is that we spent no money advertising the livestream! All of the marketing that we did was grassroots guerrilla style. We did press, we did pre-sign ups, we hit social media like crazy . . . and we got over 150,000 to watch. Imagine how many people would tune in if we put dollars behind it?
WHERE WERE THEY FROM?
Our audience was from 135 countries around the world. (I didn’t even know there were that many countries in the dang world!) Yes, there are Broadway fans in Grenada, Belize, Ukraine, Fiji, Bulgaria . . . and yes, the Syrian Arab Republic.
But in addition to this awesome reach, drilling it down is even more interesting for its potential to drive ticket sales . . . as the largest percentage of views came from within driving distance to the Davenport Theatre, where Daddy Long Legs is currently playing.
WHY DID THEY TUNE IN?
Another stat that demonstrates the potential of future livestreams is that 40.3% of the audience had never heard of Daddy Long Legs before the livestream. Yet they tuned in anyway. That’s how much the theatergoers out there are craving this kind of experience. They’re willing to watch something they know nothing about, simply because it’s theater from NYC. And obviously for Daddy Long Legs, the positive exposure to all those people who know nothing about us is a tremendous marketing win, and one of the reasons I did this in the first place.
DO THEY WANT MORE?
A whopping 99.5% of our viewers want to see more Broadway and Off Broadway shows streamed in the future. Let me say that again . . . 99.5%!
Think that’s good? Wait for it . . . cuz 82.2% said they would PAY for the experience of livestreaming a Broadway or Off Broadway show (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and the like have actually warmed audiences up to the idea of paying for streamed content). We also asked the viewers how much they’d pay for future livestreams, and the answers are all in the infographic. And here’s a spoiler, they’d pay more for a stream than they would a DVD. See how much in the graphic below.
LIVESTREAMING AIN’T JUST FOR THE KIDS
The average age of our livestream viewer was 46.6 years old. The average age of the Broadway theatergoing audience according to Broadway League demographics is 44 years old.
68.3% of the livestream audience was women. 68% of the Broadway theatergoing audience is women.
Pretty clear, right? This was the typical theatergoing audience. From an advertising perspective, this is a great way to capture an audience’s attention, for a heck of a lot longer and in a much more comprehensive way than a 30-second TV commercial.
LIVESTREAMING LIFTS ALL BOATS
After our livestream, ticket sales did increase . . . but honestly, I never expected sales to blow up our box office (which is something I wish some of the unions would understand). That’s not why we did this. We did it to accelerate word-of-mouth, for long-term gain, not short-term.
But I was very interested to see how it affected other show-related products that viewers could purchase with a click, like, oh, I don’t know, our cast album.
In the 10 days following the livestream, Daddy Long Legs cast album sales increased 484.0% over the same period before the livestream.
Pretty nifty stuff, right?
Well, there’s a lot more, and it’s all fascinating.
And it’s all in the infographic below.
If you are interested in the livestreaming of theater, read it and share it, because we’ve got to get more people on this e-bandwagon.
The biggest takeaway from the livestream is that our audience wants this. Badly. They’re begging us to share what we’re doing here with all of those who can’t get here for whatever reason. Maybe that’s the mother of two young kids from San Diego who emailed me and told me she can barely get out of her house, never mind to New York City to see a new show. Or the kid from Indonesia who wants to study theater in the States someday. Or the 85-year-old woman who just can’t make it out to the theater anymore, so she was overjoyed that we could bring it to her.
They want it. And now it’s up to all of us, Producers, Unions, Artists, etc. to figure out how we give it to them on a more regular basis . . . because I’m convinced if we do, they’ll repay us for it ten times over. Maybe not in dollars, but in the development of tomorrow’s audience.
As I said before and as I’ll say again until this is more commonplace, the digital distribution of our theatrical content is the biggest audience development tool that we are NOT using.
It’s time to figure out how to take that tool out of the box.
Enjoy the infographic, and thank you to everyone who tuned in for supporting this endeavor, including my partner-in-producing on Daddy Long Legs, Michael Jackowitz, and all my co-producers including Hunter Arnold, Peg McFeeley Golden, Tres Rosas, Ben Bailey, David Bryant, Caiola Productions, Carl Daikeler, Jeffrey Grove, and Marguerite Hoffman, who supported this “crazy” idea, as well as my courageous actors, Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin, the authors John Caird and Paul Gordon, our musical supervisor Brad Haak, our design team of David Farley, Paul Toben and Peter Fitzgerald, and everyone at the Davenport Theatre.
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(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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Did you enjoy the Daddy Long Legs live stream, or the post live stream fantastic stats? Then head over to my post Why I’m producing Daddy Long Legs Off Broadway, to read my initial thoughts on producing this show.
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