Monetizing events via livestream - Mauerwerk shows the way!

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The coronavirus crisis is putting artists and event organizers under significant economic pressure and is forcing players in the cultural industry to find new, creative solutions. Out of necessity, new digital formats are emerging, some of which have the potential to be more than just a temporary solution.

One such example is Mauerwerk, which has brought its stage program to the Internet via livestream - and has been successfully monetizing events online for several weeks. 

Situated in the middle of Herrenberg, Mauerwerk is a new location that was created a few years ago with the goal of combining culture and gastronomy. Music, comedy, film, literature and an extraordinary cuisine are the focus of this varied cultural offer. The historic brick building, with its more than 110 years of history, characterizes the unique ambience of the Mauerwerk.

A hall with 140 seats is available for events. Until February 2020, this hall was regularly well-filled, including by the popular improv-comedy show "TauschRausch". Every four weeks the trio usually performs in the Mauerwerk, and tickets are sold out for months.

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The restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic put an abrupt end to the program in March and forced the Mauerwerk team, led by managing director Johannes Storost, to rethink their strategy:

“What are you supposed to do when you've been stripped of your entire working base? As organizers we are of course dependent on an audience. But if the audience is not allowed to go out, then we have to get creative and bring our events to the audience. Of course, this is only possible online... That's how we came up with the idea of the livestream shows.”

A livestream event in practice

It was clear to Johannes Storost from the start that the livestream could not completely replace the on-site events. Especially not financially, if you take into account the lost income from the catering that a regular evening event brings. 

But an online event also offers several advantages: the limit on viewer capacity is lifted for the livestream, so 240 paying viewers were able to be present live at the online premiere - an increase of 71% over a regular sold-out show on location. The combination of single, two-person and group tickets also made it possible to offer different ticket categories and thus reach even more viewers.

An emergency solution becomes a potential opportunity for additional revenue  

What was initially intended as an emergency solution to bridge the COVID-19 restrictions has since shown unexpected potential for the future.

In a short time, Mauerwerk and LaterPay developed a setup to reach and monetize additional viewers based on an existing recording system. In the long term, this may also encourage one or two new online viewers to watch events in Mauerwerk live on location as soon as it is possible once more.

Although - or perhaps precisely because - the prices for online tickets are lower than the original tickets, this can continue as a consistent additional offer in the period after the pandemic ends in order to generate additional revenue over and above the seat capacity. Furthermore, the livestream offers a real alternative for fans and interested parties when tickets are sold out again. The emotional value of getting an on-location ticket for Mauerwerk is thus further increased.

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Implementation and integration

Due to the situation, it was clear to Mauerwerk that there was no time for lengthy development work and that a quick solution was needed. It was therefore necessary to monetize the video streams in as user-friendly a way as possible using existing and easily accessible tools. 

For the video streaming, YouTube was chosen - the most obvious and also free solution. 

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With the LaterPay platform and especially our Video Connector tool, the video streams, a ticket sales display and the entire payment process could all be integrated directly on the Mauerwerk website - and a live chat was also available.

Conclusion

Mauerwerk was able to bridge the coronavirus crisis with LaterPay and get at least partial compensation for their economic losses. What's more, new possibilities have been discovered and tested - and if they can be optimized, there is recognizable potential for the future.

The managing director of Mauerwerk, Johannes Storost, is satisfied in any case:

"We are very satisfied with LaterPay. Due to the short lead time and the difficult circumstances not everything was easy, but thanks to the competence of the guys, every problem was solvable".