Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Quickly becoming known as the Netflix for Broadway, the premier of the streaming service BroadwayHD on Oct. 26 was an exciting development for theatre fans all over America.
The site was founded by Tony Award-winning Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley.
“We’re not going to replace the Broadway experience, but if you can’t get to Broadway, get to BroadwayHD,” Lane said in a report from the New York Daily News. “The idea is to get somebody to say, ‘I’ve got to see that live and put $150 down to buy a ticket.’”
The purpose of the service, according to the BroadwayHD website, is to “promote and preserve live theatre, extending the reach of Broadway and Broadway caliber shows to anyone, anywhere.”
For those who love Broadway — but are not lucky enough to live close to a touring show, can’t travel to New York to see a show or simply cannot afford the ticket — BroadwayHD offers an accessible and affordable alternative.
BroadwayHD can be streamed on essentially any device with a connection to the Internet, including computers, mobile devices and tablets. To view content on BroadwayHD, users can buy either a $14.99 monthly or a $169.99 yearly subscription. For those who don’t want to pay the fee, the website also offers limited free content.
The site launched with about 100 productions offered, but plans are underway to expand the selection further. Viewers can watch content from contributors including Broadway Worldwide’s Direct From Broadway catalog, BBC Worldwide North America, and WNET/New York.
For theatre fans who are dying to see the hot new shows, buying a subscription will be a lot easier — and less stressful — than buying a ticket to the show.
With better accessibility and affordability, BroadwayHD also has the potential to expand Broadway’s fanbase. For some, not being a “theatre person” is more of a lack of exposure than a lack of interest. By subscribing to the streaming site or simply watching the free content, those who are on the fence about theatre can get a real taste of what it is like.
While similar sites have previously failed, there are high hopes for BroadwayHD. Only time will tell how the site plays out, but based on the original launch, the future is bright for Broadway lovers.