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The Live-Streaming-at-Scale Learning Curve

Learn more about live streaming at scale at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

John Petrocelli: As somebody who's been in this business for a very long time, even six years ago, I had to explain what live streaming was if I was having a normal dinner conversation. That has radically changed. It's become probably one of the hottest topics on the face of the earth, as a result, we've seen hundreds of millions of venture dollars flow into the space. And I've had executives at major talent agencies telling me there are between 100 and 200 companies providing just live music, pay-per-view capabilities, which is what's completely mind-blowing in general. And unfortunately, my perspective is, to do this at scale is not easy. And I don't think you learn how to do that in 90 days or four months or five months. A lot of thinking and a lot of nuances have to go into pulling off--not just a performance. It could be a product launch, a movie premiere, something that's going to a large audience.

There's a lot happening in terms of redundancy and stress on the networks, et cetera. And we've seen major music experiences have significant challenges--you didn't even make it to the air. And that's a noteworthy problem. Further to that, a lot of these companies were doing these shares as you on demand. They were prerecording and shooting the artist, editing or putting them in a music performance in an abandoned castle or an atrium, or a mansion, which is great. But the reality is, the audience wants that live live performance. And a lot of these companies are going to struggle when they go back into a venue in a room where you have to be cognizant of ... Now your client's also the promoter and the promoter's obligation is to the ticket buyers that have come and bought tickets that are physically in the room.

So you've got things like seat kills to contemplate where you can put your cameras, how you're going to run cable. What is the internet connectivity at that venue? If you you're going to use a borrowed internet that everybody in the room is on with their Wi-Fi, that's another another challenge and a problem. So a lot of problems, I don't think they're going to go away. And I think the newer companies need to contemplate and really focus and double down on things like redundancy and running a primary and a backup encoder, a primary transmission path, and a backup transmission path.

Also if you're going to sell tickets, it's the inverse of the traditional world. If a tour goes on sale and it's a popular artist, everyone's going to watch, they're going to buy those tickets 'cause they want a good ticket for that performance in the digital virtual live streaming world, it's different. No matter when you buy your ticket, you're going to have a great vantage point. Someone like Adam's going to shoot it, and it's gonna look amazing. So you can buy your tickets 30 minutes or a day before the show. And I think that's a learning curve--it's more of a U shape--and you've gotta be aware of that kind of influx of people coming in and purchasing and going through that authorization step, which, again, I don't think if you just got your venture funding, you've been doing this for four months, you're going to comprehend that. So it kind of goes back to the old-school basic way, and we've got to get into this business early on. We had to deal with all kinds of bandwidth constraints and issues.

This industry got a lot of attention for its failures back way back when. The Victoria's Secret show crash was front page news. I think Oprah Winfrey did a big variety show you might remember, and that had all kinds of challenges. And we got a lot of attention for the failures of the industry, not the successes. So from my perspective, it's really kind of understanding and predicting and understanding that you're gonna have a big audience tune in, or just a sizeable audience. And how do you support that? And really that's kind of going back to the days of pre-planning and infrastructure, and again, redundancy throughout your workflow.

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