The average price of a ticket to Broadway show passed the $100 mark last year, so it would seem that the time is right for BroadwayHD, a new SVOD service launching today that promises to stream high-caliber full-length theatrical productions for only $7.99 a show or $14.99 a month for unlimited access.
At launch, BroadwayHD carries more than 100 titles from Broadway Worldwide’s Direct From Broadway catalog, BBC Worldwide North America abd WNET/New York, including shows starring Dame Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, Dame Judi Dench, Daniel Craig and Carol Burnett.
Most of the titles currently available on the BroadwayHD are not from the Great White Way — they come from across the pond in Britain, courtesy of their deal with BBC, and are heavy on the Shakespeare. The musical section has only five titles at present, all from the Direct From Broadway catalog: “Memphis,” “Putting It Together,” “Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies,” “Tintypes,” “Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical,” starring David Hasselhoff of “Baywactch” fame.
The service was founded by Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley, who between them have nine Tony Award wins, including 2014 Best Musical for “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and 2011 Best Play for “War Horse.” Their experience bringing a high def capture of the Broadway revival of “Romeo and Juliet” starring Orlando Bloom (now featured on BroadwayHD) to movie theaters nationwide last year led them to launch the streaming service.
“We will always be live theatre lovers first, so we acted quickly when we saw an unmet opportunity to expand the reach of theatre to those that can’t experience it or want to keep experiencing it over and over,” said Lane in statement. “Given advances in streaming technology and the increasing trend of readily available content, we knew that a digital platform that allowed people to experience a theatrical show — a medium that historically is not available beyond the stage — would be monumental.”
BroadwayHD plans to continue to add high-definition captures, using HD and 4K technology cameras, to capture additional shows, but it remains to be seen whether they will be able to bring any big Broadway hits to the service that are not of public domain works such as “Romeo and Julie.”
BroadwayHD is available through connected devices, including mobile phones, tablets, desktops and laptops, as well as via TVs with Apple TV and Google Chromecast.