Crosstown and Stabal Living the Stream

Crosstown Concerts made a successful entry into the broadcast market, with its first online concert for English folk act Bellowhead, selling 8,200 tickets on 5 December 2020.

After live shows fell casualty to pandemic shutdown, from March 2020, Crosstown Concerts spent months researching options for their artists to connect with fans, and start reinstating the all-important revenue streams.

Stabal’s super high quality concert broadcast for Bellowhead’s first show in four-and-a-half years, proved very popular with gig-starved fans, with 70% of ticket sales being the higher value option for 30-day video-on-demand passes. Irish singer Damien Dempsey also enjoyed a successful stream on 23 December with further streamed concert tickets already on sale for Seth Lakeman on 27 February.

Crosstown Concerts Director, Conal Dodds, said: “We knew the return to full capacity shows would be some time away and we needed to find an alternative platform for our artists. Our search to find the very best broadcast solution for our artists led us to Epping Forest-based broadcast platform Stabal. After several online meetings and lots of negotiations, we entered a partnership. Their whole team are super friendly and professional, sharing with us a desire to produce the highest quality events.”

He added: “I believe this collaboration between Stabal and Crosstown solves all of the issues artists have encountered broadcasting concerts, as we can handle all the aspects required between us. We cover all the costs, handle all marketing, ticketing, rights and publishing clearances, with audio-visual recording produced to a world class standard.

The team decided from the outset not to offer “live” livestreams, having seen so many beset with broadcast problems. Dodds explained: “We decided to record an artist over the course of a day, which makes the artist relaxed and we can concentrate on creating the very best audio and video experience for viewers.”

This gives Stabal the ability to post-edit the recordings, and give the artists approval of the final cut. It also means they can film extra ‘behind the scenes’ content, with interviews, extra songs etc, for inclusion in a deluxe 30-day pass option, adding value for the fans. This has proved very successful; the 30-day pass initiative has also allowed for sales after the initial broadcast date, with Bellowhead sales rising by 500 to 8,700 within the next two weeks. A ‘gifting service’ also proved popular, allowing tickets to be bought as presents.

Stabal CEO Steve Odart stated: “When I first met with Conal and Paul in early 2020, it was clear that we carried the same attitude to doing business. Crosstown were promoting life-affirming concerts at a fair price, and their track record of success in the bricks and mortar promotion world was clearly evident. Stabal carries the same DNA, with our focus being firmly in the digital space. It was a very logical partnership. We have crafted a well thought through, end to end offering and strategy to deliver the very best online concert offering to the music industry, building an outstanding commercial offering that works for all key stakeholders; labels, publishers, management, artist, and PRO’s.”

He furthered: “That investment has been totally worth it, and I am thrilled to see the success of our first few shows already surpassing all expectations. 2021 is a very exciting year for our partnership. In Q1 2021 we are expanding the Stabal platform across Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire and Roku to provide an even more extensive TV viewing experience, and adding a production hub in Australia to complement our existing UK and US production teams.”

Crosstown and Stabal can sell the content in over 150 countries, in multiple currencies, with global ambitions. Conal concluded: “We are currently negotiating with multiple international artists and expect our collaboration with Stabal to go from strength to strength in the coming year.”