JW Player is very easy and rewarding to work with because it’s so seamless—from integrating the APIs into our own software with custom tag fields, artist info, etc. to the team always thinking about potential solutions, they’re very authentic to work with.
Ever since the pandemic forced art festivals and performance events to go virtual, there’s been a steady increase in live streamed content—especially within the music industry. In fact, in the early days of the pandemic, JW Player saw a 400% growth of live streamed content across its network of 12,000+ independent publishers and brands.
While the transition to virtual events and festivals was abrupt and challenging in its early days, the pandemic also afforded small and independent creators a new opportunity to expand quicker and further than before. The Amsterdam-based jazz initiative Watch Live Jazz used the last year to grow a new global audience with its innovative platform for live streaming jazz using JW Player’s technology.
Online jazz concerts are broadcast via live stream from their jazz club, Club Cinetone, located in the private cinema of a former Hollywood-like studio complex where almost all Dutch cinema was recorded up until 1987. Having opened in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, the Watch Live Jazz organization needed a solution to make the platform’s performances more accessible—especially considering limitations on event attendance due to pandemic restrictions.
Jazz is often an intimate experience in a club, and Watch Live Jazz needed a way to translate the physical experience into a digital world. “Jazz on a local scale is small; but jazz on a global scale is big,” Arthur van Cadsand, the club’s owner and creator of WatchLiveJazz.com said. “You’re not always able to visit a local jazz stage, so the next best thing is video.”
As a way to make jazz more accessible and reach a global audience, Arthur van Cadsand set up a live streaming solution for the small Amsterdam club. Unlike other jazz clubs, Club Cinestone was created and developed in its initial days to be optimized for both a digital and a physical world. This involved finding creative solutions for both lighting and sound so that the jazz experience translates properly for both digital live streaming and in-person performances.
JW Player’s live streaming platform allows for a seamless viewing experience from the physical club in Amsterdam to the digital platform via WatchLiveJazz.com. Videos are produced with up to six HD cameras set up in the club and a sublime audio system so that online viewers feel like they’re in the very front row. Digital subscribers to WatchLiveJazz.com can access live streams and video-on-demand directly within the custom iOS, Android and web app.
JW Player’s API allows for a seamless and easy integration with WatchLiveJazz.com’s custom-built app so that users can access live streamed concerts with phones, tablets, and TVs all via both Chromecast and AirPlay. With a growing library of videos (up to 200+ a year!) and special seasonal events (such as the Cinetone Jazz Festival), there’s always something new to discover via WatchLiveJazz.com.
“There’s no video streaming platform in the world that has this frequency of live jazz concerts,” Arthur van Cadsand said. Performers at the club range from young, emerging talent to both critically acclaimed national and international jazz musicians. Live streaming 2 to 3 times per week allows the club to increase the volume of available content and attract new members weekly. Competitive subscription pricing (including a 7-day free trial) and the upcoming premium pay-per-view videos help the club to hit their subscription target goals.
With a customer-centric approach to service and a strong desire to replicate the intimacy of a live jazz experience in a digital realm, Club Cinetone offers a unique solution for a unique challenge. As the arts and entertainment industry continues to adapt to an increasingly digital video economy, it’s more important than ever for artists, performers, and venues to offer technological solutions.
Club Cinetone and WatchLiveJazz.com have found success by offering original jazz concerts via live stream and video-on-demand, growing their subscriber base by 100+ new members/month.
Many people say you can’t make money in jazz. Jazz is small and often on a local scale, but I want to reach out to the world, and JW Player is helping us to grow globally.