When you understand that there are endless types of events people would like to watch in person but simply can’t, it becomes clear that pay-per-view (PPV) live streaming is a smart way to do business.
In fact, we’re seeing an increasing number of organizations (not just sports organizations) realize the value of their live stream content. Where companies once offered live streaming for free they now charge for access, and many are either covering their costs or turning a profit.
You could say PPV is breaking out of the box—both in terms of the boxing ring (traditionally associated with pay-per-view) and in terms of the types of events that are now being streamed at a price.
Below are some of the more interesting instances we’ve seen of pay-per-view live streaming, some of which may be well on their way to becoming commonplace. How might your content play into the mix?
5 Examples Of Unique Pay-Per-View Live Streaming Events
1. Yoga classes and events.
Kundalini yoga exercise classes, Q & A sessions, in-depth discussions—you can get access to all of this via pay-per-view live stream at RA MA TV (courtesy of the RA MA Institute). Not all of its content is PPV; some is offered for free. Their special pay-per-view-events are considered premium content, and include things like workshops and courses with master teachers (the New Moon Total Solar Eclipse event, for instance). They also offer bundles of live-streamed workshops at package prices, and give discounts for pre-registering to virtually attend an event. Their PPV strategy encourages participation and expands their global “RA MA Community,” and makes money at the same time.
2. Funeral services.
According to the Telegraph, 50% of all funeral homes and crematoria can now broadcast funeral services online—but we’re not sure that nearly that percentage of the general population knows about it. People seem to be divided on the trend, though the younger generation seems more accepting of it overall. For faraway family members who can’t attend the event in person, live streaming offers a chance to “connect with the collective emotion of the event.” Many funeral homes are doing all they can to limit viewing to family members and friends of the deceased, including password protecting the broadcast. Although the majority of funeral live streams are offered for free, some charge for access, like the U.K.’s Coychurch Crematorium (which also sells audio and video recordings of services).
3. Battle rap.
Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg vs. Luke, Common vs. Ice Cube, and LL Cool J vs. Canibus—they’re some of the most memorable battle raps on the books. But even if you missed those, you can still see some of today’s all-star rappers compete thanks to Watch Battle Live’s HD PPV. Acknowledging that not nearly enough fans will have the opportunity to attend most events live, Watch Battle Live hopes that viewers will get a “firsthand experience, like you are in the building, feeling all the energy in the crowd.” From a peek at one of the previews, we’d say that’s a good assessment of what viewers can expect.
4. Intimate concerts and events.
A pay-per-view live streamed musical event might not sound so unusual, but here we’re talking about limited admission to a virtual concert filmed in the artist’s living room. Oh, and did we mention that the artists take requests from their viewing audience and stop periodically to chat with viewers? Website Stageit pulls off these types of events regularly, featuring not only musicians but also comedians, chefs, and magicians. Shows are not archived (which only makes the live event even more valuable) and performers can collect tips in addition to the money earned from ticket sales. This is a new way of thinking about live streaming when it comes to events and so far, it seems to be working. (Anyone else up for a Jimmy Buffett concert?)
5. Every sport imaginable (almost).
Move over, boxing. We found pay-per-view live streaming opportunities for a multitude of sporting events, even some of the more unusual ones:
- Roller derby
- Dirt track racing
- European wheelchair basketball
- Mixed martial arts