With restrictions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, most entertainment, art and sporting events were cancelled, causing thousands of performers and event organisers to suffer from a loss of income and leaving the events industry in limbo. As the biggest events and experiences marketplace in Singapore, Sistic wanted to support its arts and entertainment clients in keeping communities connected and keeping the industry afloat in such trying times.
Sistic Live, a livestreaming platform was created to bridge the gap between live performances and virtual streaming for local promoters. Sistic Live was so successful in driving engagement and viewership that the team clinched the silver award for best response to COVID-19 and was a finalist for Best in eCommerce (Marketplace / eRetailer) – Entertainment at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s Asia eCommerce Awards 2021.
With mass cancellation of events amidst pandemic measures, promoters and performers had little opportunity to engage with their audience, donors and sponsors aside from posting free content on social media platforms which generated no revenue and was not sustainable in the long run. Livestreaming had become a necessity. Yet, there were no key live streaming platforms available for the entertainment scene in Singapore. Existing live stream platforms available were overseas and was cost-prohibitive. In addition, overseas vendors did not have marketplace power or a database of local audiences to help promote and sell tickets. Sistic faced the immense challenge of helping to bridge the gap between live performances and virtual streaming for local events and performers.
With the challenge and objectives in mind, Sistic aimed to develop a product quickly to help struggling promoters to pivot online. Thus, Sistic Live was created to provide a platform for promoters to offer gated content with the objectives of monetisation, driving viewership, engagement and collecting insights.
Sistic needed the platform to be seamless for the audience from product discovery to contactless registrations, payments, content access and engagement with promoters and other audiences. Live stream analytics would also need to be integrated and made available via its existing business intelligence tool to help promoters drive insights on new consumer behaviours and understand audience segments.
Sistic also aimed to encourage the sale of tickets at scale by targeting its large database of local fans as well as overseas fans through its network of ecosystem partners. Most importantly, prices must be kept affordable to reduce barriers to entry and encourage more promoters to use the platform.
1. Monetisation features
- Support multiple product types
Promoters could sell tickets as a standalone event or bundled with merchandise as a festival pass with integration with multiple payment methods for the convenience of local and international viewers.
- In-stream tipping/donation tool
Viewers can make contributions to the promoter or their choice of charity without leaving the virtual event.
- Create reseller networks
Promoters can work with other ecosystem partners such as Trip.com or Klook to help increase outreach and sell more event tickets.
2. Security and stability features
- Speed to market
To ensure that the platform can be pushed out quickly, Sistic was built on top of its existing solutions to create a bigger ecosystem leveraging on world class partners with proven solutions such as Goole Cloud Platform, DACast, ESPX and Apsara, as well as global CDNs Akamai and Limelight.
- Providing gated content and seamless experience for audiences
A booking flow for online events and a Single Sign-On (SSO) for Sistic ticket holders was introduced to assign tokenized features to viewers in order to verify access. Should someone try to access content from an unqualified device, access would be denied.
As entertainment promoters may not have global content rights and may be required to comply with third-party licensing agreements by placing limitations on viewer locations, geographic restrictions were introduced to allow content to be streamed only to preferred audiences in specific markets and additional referral restrictions were applied to ensure that viewers accessed the content from a specific domain.
3. Intuitive booking flow for simple events
For a simple event, audiences can follow a straightforward four-step booking system:
Step one: Discover event on Sistic platform
Step two: Purchase tickets on Sistic platform
Step three: Receive E-ticket with dedicated access link to event within email confirmation
Step four: Login to Sistic Live on event day for authentication
4. Engagement and interactive features
To increase engagement, performers can make use of the in-stream live chat tool, interactive multi-view tool and interactive survey and slide sharing tool during their events.
5. Evolving to Sistic Live Pro
Shortly after launching Sistic Live, the team quickly launched a Sistic Live 2.0 to provide clients with the opportunity to own their own live streaming portal and have it branded their way, without the need for any technical experience or resources. The new platform was integrated with Sistic’s ecosystem and was suited towards one-off mega events or long running festivals across all industries. Clients were given the option to use Sistic support in managing the platform or self-serve via a CMS.
Akin to owning their own “Netflix”, Sistic Live Pro provided a branded experience with different sections to house different content, such as sign up and login for patrons, upcoming online content, livestreaming, video on demand as well as other content such as featured performers or editorial pieces. The user flow was simplified for ease of use-with options for promoters to charge via new revenue models such as subscriptions or all-access passes.
Sistic Live Pro also included a seamless purchase flow, access restriction controls and audience engagement add-ons.
Delivering actionable insights
Sistic integrated statistics and data of ticket sales into a Business Intelligence Dashboard to allow event organisers to access data insights for their livestreams and compare it against their in-venue events.
6. Creating awareness
To create awareness and draw users to Sistic Live, Sistic leveraged live interviews and social media giveaways to achieve media coverage.
As the first livestream platform to launch in Singapore and actively go to market during the pandemic, Sistic Live has helped over 116 local event promoters, from individual content creators to large scale arts and entertainment performances and eSport tournaments, to promote and host over 1000 virtual events to over 100,000 viewers across more than 90 countries globally. In 2021, Sistic gained a partnership with IMDA to secure government grants for local arts and entertainment promoters to pivot to livestreams.
While in-venue events are set to slowly return with the easing of pandemic measures, virtual or hybrid events are part of the new normal and will remain as a unique opportunity for promoters to engage their audiences. Sistic will continue to refine and build on the Sistic Live platform to address the ever-changing events industry.