Viewpoint: Performing arts takes to the stage at MIP

Gulu MonteiroPerforming arts streaming service Cennarium is due to launch at MIPCOM in Cannes next week, and here its managing artistic and commercial director Gulu Monteiro outlines its strategy. The global platform will offer recorded performances of plays, operettas, dance performances and ballets – including a Russian production of Chekov’s Three Sisters.

We all know that the biggest impact on the television industry in recent years has been the change in viewing habits, viewers’ demand to create their own programme schedules and consequentially, the huge increase in popularity and proliferation of on-demand platforms.

These trends provide a great opportunity for companies like Cennarium – which is the world’s first global performing arts streaming platform.

As viewers become more discerning and demanding about the content they are consuming, there is an opportunity for digital platforms to fill a gap that traditional, linear broadcasters just cannot meet. In terms of performing arts content specifically, the format of traditional linear TV does not lend itself to theatrical performances or operettas that can last up to three hours.

These performances do not always fit the standard commercial hour format. An on-demand service like Cennarium, however, is able to stream the content as it is intended to be seen – but with the added advantage of reaching an audience of thousands, potentially millions. The Cennarium platform also allows fans of the performing arts to watch content that they would never normally have the opportunity to see.

Performing arts is often inaccessible to fans around the world, not only because of the cost of tickets, but also geographically. The advancement in technology means that now, through companies like Cennarium, existing performing arts enthusiasts can access a new world of content but it also means that this genre can find new mass audiences for the first time.

This is not only a good thing for audiences around the world but it also offers a huge financial opportunity to theatrical venues, performing arts companies and artistes. Cennarium is able to offer troupes and venues lucrative deals for allowing them to take the local content to a global audience and thereby providing a much-needed cash injection to an area that is always searching for additional funding as budgets are squeezed.

Cennarium is unique in being able to offer flexibility of deals because we not only stream the content, but we are involved in every step of the process.

Advancements in technology have enabled digital start-ups like us to maximise the opportunities offered by the fast changing TV landscape. As a boutique producer, distributor and VOD platform, we can be flexible in the deals we strike with the content producers, acquisition execs and channel providers. That is why we decided that MIPCOM was the perfect market to launch the company.

We have been filming a huge variety of HD content in venues around the world – a world renowned Spanish Flamenco dancer, a unique German operetta and a Russian production of Chekov’s Three Sisters to name just a few – and we can offer this content to broadcasters around the world without restrictive territory rights issues because we deal directly with the performers.

In addition to distributing individual performances, we will also be looking for channel providers at MIPCOM who are interested in offering the Cennarium portfolio on their platform. Many linear channels find it difficult to source world class performing arts content and cannot launch a genre-specific arts channel. By taking our offering, subscribers and audiences are given even more choice and a variety of new, unique and exclusive content.

Ultimately, it is a passion for performing arts that is at the heart of Cennarium. We are dedicated to finding the best dance, theatre and cultural performances from around the world and making them accessible to as many people as possible – whether that is through our own platform or through partnerships with broadcasters and platforms.

Tags: Cennarium