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Showcasing social at the MPS

The Media Production Show (MPS) was back for its second year this June and our Media & Broadcast team were there again to showcase our key capabilities, especially our online broadcasting solution, BT Media Stream. As well as welcoming lots of people to our exhibition stand, we were excited to deliver a seminar session. Keith Bristow, our Head of Strategy at Media & Broadcast, was joined by Abi Hemingway, Director at Jackshoot and Tom Nelson, Creative Producer at the Royal Opera House, to discuss the power of live on social media and how to successfully deliver broadcast quality content to the online world.

With social media a key part of today’s society and the ever-growing use of live streaming, there’s a huge opportunity to create interaction and excitement amongst viewers and consumers. There was a fantastic level of interest in the session, and the seminar theatre was overflowing with people. We went through two major events (World Ballet Day for Royal Opera House and London Fashion Week) that were delivered using BT Media Stream.

How was World Ballet Day born? Tom Nelson explains that the Royal Opera House had built up a successful social media following back in 2012 by broadcasting live rehearsal footage. He said: “We wanted to see if we could take a really old art form like ballet and change the conversation…If we turned the cameras on and broadcast that live for eight hours of the day, what would that product be, and what would it achieve?”. It achieved a lot as it reached a whole new audience, making its YouTube channel one of the most successful arts organisations in the world. “But we wanted to take it further, and make it truly global. So, we reached out to four other ballet companies around the world”, continues Tom, “and that’s how World Ballet Day was created.”

World Ballet Day is broadcast linear, non-stop for 23 hours, creating an editorial and technical challenge. The audience has to entertained for such an extraordinary long time and there are five broadcasts that have to be collated into one stream. Jackshoot came up with a solution that used BT Media Stream and pulled all streams into BT Tower and then pushed them out to each company’s YouTube channels. Abi Hemingway said: “Working with the Royal Opera House and their partner ballet companies around the world to push the boundaries of online broadcasting has been an incredible experience. We love finding quality solutions for complex broadcast scenarios. ”

BT Media Stream is built on our broadcast quality infrastructure, and as Keith Bristow said: “It bridges the traditional broadcast and new social media platforms together. It’s an incredibly flexible product that enables content owners to take traditional broadcasts in whole or in part and send those out via online platforms to increase and engage better with audiences.”

And with the right technology, we can enable the right broadcast between social and traditional; it’s very important to deliver broadcast quality that matches your brand. Doing it the wrong way, as we saw at London Fashion Week, could have disastrous results. Abi commented: “People were trying to use a phone to broadcast their fashion shows alongside our professional set-up. Unfortunately a phone strapped to a tripod couldn’t handle the lighting, the audio was unbearable and the comments on the designers pages filled up with complaints and angry emojis.” A perfect example of why it’s best left to the experts.

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