By Scott Harrison, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
With the help of our friends at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, by the end of the summer our Live from Orchestra Hall webcasts will have reached 150,000 viewers in over 75 countries in less than a year and a half “on the air.” But it’s more than just numbers – our global audience is engaged and involved. They watch for an average of 25 minutes, they come back for multiple webcasts, and they share their impressions with the world at Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #DSOLive.
We’ve heard from folks who can’t afford to attend concerts regularly, but can now watch the Detroit Symphony Orchestra online for free every week. We’ve heard from parents whose children jump, sing, and dance along with the DSO. We’ve seen some of our regular viewers become commentators, narrating the concerts for their Twitter audiences; in essence, they’re curating their own concert experience. And we’ve had webcast viewers actually take part in the concerts themselves through our Beethoven composition contest, which allowed viewers worldwide to submit musical ideas via the online composition software noteflight.com so that pianist Robert Levin could improvise on them from the stage of Orchestra Hall. (Stay tuned for more interactive projects over the summer and during next season.)
For the DSO, this isn’t new territory. We’ve been moving beyond the walls of Orchestra Hall since we presented the first ever radio broadcast of an orchestra in 1922. Now thanks to Knight Foundation, the spirit of broadcast innovation and accessibility continues online. If you haven’t had a chance to see and hear us yet, our summer encore series brings you a different #DSOLive webcast from the past season each weekend at dso.org/live. Tune in and tell us about your webcast experience!