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How to Give Live Streaming Viewers a Reason to Watch

7 Cinematics' Adam Paul discusses how to take a craft approach to large-scale live music streaming, that emphasizes creativity, engagement, and the way fans experience music, and minimizes gear requirements in this clip from a streaming-at-scale panel at Streaming Media East 2021.

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Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Adam Paul: I started in 2014, we did our first cinematic live stream with the Avett Brothers. And we all went home and watched the melt and were like, "Wow, we got something. We can capture something in the way we did it." Ours is very craft. It's very cinematic. It's very storytelling. I totally agree with John and the fact that it has to be captivating. It has to be full. There has to be a story. There has to be a reason to watch it. It has to look professional. It can't just be showing people this. And I think what I've learned is ... I was bought out by a sports company and sports techniques do not work for music. They work great for sports. Sports is very factual. Sports is very fast. Sports is very now.

With music, people want to go and leave their problems behind for two and a half hours. They want to leave their kids, their mortgage. They want to have an experience where artist is really the pastor or the leader or the shaman the storyteller of that. So what we're trying to do is capture that. The way we do it, where there's a real hands-on approach to that, we've had to re-engineer that side. But I've also figured out, coming from the large scale, Expando sports trucks that we would go in there, and we owned all that stuff ... And we would use a portion of that truck, it was about a 20th of what we needed for that. So I would rather concentrate on simplicity, the actual equipment that you actually need on-site and on-set.

We've had all that. But I have these hybrid trucks, these mobile cinema units, where we pull our truck in, we can cut it out of the truck, make the truck the entire workflow, or we can pull it all out. When either I'm director, one of my directors is directing, I like to be part of the show, not in a truck over here. I like to feel the energy. And I like to feel the people. And I think if the directors and the people and the creative and the cameramen and all those pieces of the puzzle are feeling that energy, like I felt as we were talking about with Merry Clayton, where you have that experience where it comes through your body. I think that that equates to the viewer. Listen, I think redundancy and simplicity, and getting rid of the ego that you have to have. To look good, you have to have all these things. Let's spend the money on the right things to do this. Let's spend the money on what actually is needed for streaming, because there's an old thought process with sports and live broadcast: Bring everything on the face of the planet, let's have 20 satellites, let's have this and that. Some of that is needed, but let's concentrate a little bit more on the internet signal that we have there, the infrastructure at the building, the things a couple of backups with bonded and satellite or whatever you are there. And thinking through that, so that the workflow is tight, precise. And then I can hand our creativity safely over to the network in a beautiful, packaged creative way so that it is safely given to the world through all the platforms.