Opera Music Broadcast launches affiliate programme for PPV service

Michelle Clancy | 11-01-2013

Opera Music Broadcast (OMB) has launched a commission-based affiliate programme for its pay-per-view video webcast channel for the opera and vocal music community.

Starting with a 15 January webcast with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, fellow non-profit performing arts organisations can implement a small PPV fee to viewers to offset their costs to produce musical events for a global audience via online streaming video.
Opera bloggers and any website owner will also be able to earn a commission on PPV events by signing up for the new affiliate programme. Affiliates will earn a 25% commission on each ticket sold through their website or blog, a service that has already been popularised by sites such as Amazon.
"It's not just a local event anymore," says MCOP artistic director Janelle McCoy. "We are lucky to have world-class singers here and the world should have an opportunity to see and hear them."
Broadcasting audio since 2009 and video since 2010, OMB has featured world premieres and standard rep works in its webcast line-up. But none of this is limited to the current opera and vocal music community - OMB hopes to keep the tradition of classical singing relevant by using technology to build and keep new audiences. A recent rebroadcast of the Glyndebourne Tristan und Isolde brought in a large number of viewers through Twitter, it noted. Video webcasts average a viewership in the tens of thousands, far more than could fit in the opera house.
"One of our success stories was a very small non-standard rep opera, Ariadne auf Naxos which was webcast to 88,000 viewers in 28 countries," said OMB board member Frank Mazzella. "Viewers live chatted online and asked repeatedly for a rebroadcast. We did the math and the opera house would have had to do 96 performances to accommodate that many in-person viewers."
Upcoming and archived events include the Centre City Opera on 20 January, another MCOP event and the Opera America Conference in May. Past events have featured the opera companies of Minnesota, Toledo and the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and singers such as James Valenti and Barbara Quintiliani. OMB hopes to sign more companies and organisations to fill out its broadcast schedule.
A recent OMB live webcast from the Pine Mountain Music Festival was successfully moved to broadcast television, where the TV world premiere of Rockland will air on PBS on 27 January, originating from WNMU in Michigan.