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New subscription service allows you to live-stream Broadway shows

With BroadwayHD, fans from anywhere in the world can watch a live-stream of Broadway’s finest show. Does this threaten live theatre?



Attention, Broadway fanatics outside of NYC!

As theatre enthusiasts well know, attending live shows isn’t always easy. Popular shows sell out quickly, and many productions are only featured for a few months at a time, making tickets both expensive and hard to come buy.

Broadway productions are particularly challenging to attend if you aren’t a New Yorker. Although successful productions do tour around the U.S., people living outside of New York just don’t have access to the plethora of musicals and plays being performed at any one time on Broadway.

Enter BroadwayHD streaming service

BroadwayHD, a new online streaming service, seeks to make Broadway accessible to those that can’t attend a live show. In many ways, BroadwayHD will be similar to services like Netflix and Amazon Video that offer instant streaming from a wide variety of content. But while Netflix and Amazon Video offer a host of genres including TV shows, movies, documentaries, and more, BroadwayHD will only offer plays and musicals.

For $14.99 a month, subscribers can stream shows to their computer, mobile devices, the Apple TV, and Google Chromecast TV. Founders Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley hope that BroadwayHD will become the primary source for live-captured theatre events from Broadway and the West End.

This new service is set to launch within the week, and will offer over 120 productions for subscribers to watch immediately. Although most of these performances are classic archival pieces like Shakespeare, BroadwayHD will continue to add more productions and begin recording new shows.

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Does this threaten live theatre?

Lane and Comley understand that BroadwayHD can’t replace the experience of live theatre. After all, watching Wicked on your tablet in bed is sure to feel different than attending an evening show at the West End. Lane sees BroadwayHD as an advancement that will allow the theatre industry to reach a wider audience.

He explains, “This is part of evolution . . . If they can’t get here in time, we can share that with the world in the best way we can.” The value of BroadwayHD lies in its ability to make theatre accessible, and it’s potential to engage viewers who might watch something on BroadwayHD and then decide to see the live show.

Is your brand missing a subscription opportunity?

With the number of subscription services steadily rising, a niche service like BroadwayHD makes you wonder when it’s acceptable to charge for live-streaming, and when it should be free. If your brand currently offers free live-streaming services, now might the time to consider a subscription fee.

It may be worthwhile to track BroadwayHD’s progress in the market over the next few months.


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Written By

Hannah is currently a writer and student in Colorado Springs, pursuing her master's degree in Creative Writing at the University of Denver. Before becoming a Staff Writer for the American Genius, Hannah wrote website content and grant applications for a law office in central Minnesota.

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