How could I make a return on live streaming theatre?


Livestreaming theatre and art performances is a great way of moving forward and adapting to the limitations on large physical gatherings for the moment. One of the understandable concerns is how best to receive a return on investments. Luckily, our team of experts have compiled and broken down four ways to keep those productions running online:

PPV (pay-per-view)

Pay-per-view is reminiscent of the traditional ticket box office, just online. It’s great for quality productions which you could promote beforehand and appeal to enthusiasts, as they will be much more likely to pay for a livestream upfront. This method is particularly recommended to established theatres with loyal customers. A great way to start out with PPV is through Eventbrite, asking people to purchase a virtual ticket for a selected price which they can use to access the livestream online.


Sponsorships are a great way to receive income and support your livestreams without expecting audiences to directly purchase tickets to view a livestream.

This means there’s bigger potential of audiences tuning in benefitting both yourself and the organisations/brands you would be sponsoring.

Sponsorships can also be implemented in a viewer-friendly manner – dedicating a few minutes to promote a product/service or having snippets of the sponsor throughout the livestream.

Video ads within the livestream

Similar to a sponsorship, your livestream can be monetised by displaying video advertisements. Sponsorships hold much more of a stronger relationship and they are more continuous as an arrangement. As such, they can be more difficult to find and sustain.

In that case, single video ads can be a great method to boost income. They can be placed before, during or after the livestream and audiences will often prefer this to a pay-per-view option.

Most digital users are very familiar with short video ads particularly on platforms like YouTube and almost every other social media site. Furthermore, many brands will seek out livestream for their ads – LinkedIn reports that video ads are watched 3x as longer and receive 30% more comments per impression than static ads.


Some audiences will have great interest in supporting theatre and performance. It’s always a great idea to set up a donation page or button on your website. You could be surprised by the number of people who would donate, especially during live streams when website traffic is at its peak.

Exclusive content

Exclusive content is a great way to further increase donations. It’s important not to underestimate the significance of behind-the-scenes content, Q&A sessions and personalised messages. A large proportion of people will feel more inclined to donate to a theatre in return for exclusivity. That is why crowdfunding has become a popular concept – it helps businesses and creative individuals financially whilst viewers feel more connected, important and engaged with.