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Digital access, virtual stage, theater on-demand – whatever you call it, digital content has taken over the arts industry. Between varying commerce, CMS, and countless video streaming platforms, the amount of possible solutions for digital access for the arts is truly overwhelming. Adage has worked with several clients to launch on-demand and live content, both paid and free to patrons.

Today, I’ll dive into three categories of digital access solutions based on the required development work.  Providing your patrons with access to digital content is attainable for any size organization. You can grow your digital access offerings as your organization’s budget and resources allow. Read on to learn about quick and easy ways to get started with digital access, mid-range offerings, and examples of sizeable digital access projects.

Open Digital Access Projects

“We’re closed to the public for the foreseeable future – what now?” It’s possible to keep patrons engaged, even with a small budget and limited resources using free options. These clients were quick-thinking and quick-acting to get digital content released online using resources readily available. Video streaming platforms like YouTube and Vimeo make it possible to upload and share free content embedded on your site. In many cases, this can be done at absolutely no cost by utilizing existing website pages and blocks.

This quick and easy option can be taken one step further if your organization is looking for a way to limit access to certain user types. Clients such as Midland Center for the Arts, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and SFJAZZ (for their Fridays at Five program) have opted for password-protected pages to gate their video content. This step in digital access requires a small footprint of work from Adage, regardless of the CMS and commerce set up. Our teams offer a gated-content-via-password-protected-page solution with Episerver, Umbraco, and Sitefinity content management systems using both Tessitura Network Express Web (TNEW) and Adage ACE Commerce.

For a closer look at this solution on Umbraco with TNEW, check out Midland Center for the Arts Virtual Pass:

Mid-Range Digital Access Projects

The second question that arose this spring after the initial “what now?” was likely, “how can we generate revenue?” For clients looking to monetize digital content, Adage has done many projects focused on creating new visitor groups. Visitor groups are defined as site visitors with something in common, and can be created in the CMS using various criteria such as age, location, or number of clicks.

Some of our clients are utilizing personalized visitor groups to gate content based on membership or purchase level, giving them the ability to offer different video content types to different patron groups. Examples of this include the Kennedy Center’s Digital Stage, SFJAZZ Digital, and New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival. Here’s a closer look at New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival offering:

  • Built in Episerver with ACE Commerce
  • Transactions directly through for Vimeo – not currently linked to Tessitura
  • Individual program purchase options for patrons only wanting to view one event
  • Member add-on purchase options allowing patrons to purchase a full membership along with their festival ticket

Large Digital Access Projects

Recognizing that we’re in this for the long-haul has led many organizations to refocus budgeting priorities to digital content and create a unique and engaging patron experience online. Larger digital access projects, involving more work from the Adage team, build upon the foundations of the projects previously discussed. A great example of this is recent work we’ve done with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra:

  • Built in Episerver with ACE Commerce
  • Universal login for a clean and efficient authentication process that grants donors access to gated streaming content
  • Gated content using visitor groups, making certain videos available based on specific user criteria
  • Modal video capabilities, allowing patrons to watch content without navigating to a new page. Creates a special atmosphere to bring an event into our homes
  • Live chat embed for patron engagement with one another, CSO commentary, and even artists during the event
  • Additional styling work for general digital access site appearance

All of these digital access levels are stepping stones. Adage strives to help our clients find solutions they can build upon in the future, rather than spending time and valuable budget on one-off fixes that can’t be reused. A fantastic case study for this will be SFJAZZ, who had incredible early success with their Fridays at Five offering, and has continued to grow and expand their digital programming. Today, in addition to regular access to the Friday evening concerts, SFJAZZ members can purchase additional on-demand content. There is certainly more digital access on the horizon for SFJAZZ as their creative team continues to look towards the future.

We’ll continue to update and share information as Adage does more work in the digital access space. If your organization is looking to offer or expand digital content, Adage can help. Reach out to your Client Consultant or fill out our contact form to learn more about any of these projects and how these solutions could work for your organization.

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