This weekend, Kristin Sloan fromÂ The Winger,Â Chris Elam, and myself (Jaki Levy) led a workshop at the annual Dance / USA winter forum in LosÂ Angeles onÂ Recording, Producing, and Sharing Online Video. The workshop was well attended by the dance company executive / managing directors, development and outreach staff, and the attendees had some good questions. One particular participant asked if there was a way to track who is viewing your video, and what age are they are. Â For performing arts organizations, this data can be very valuable for building your audiences.
With a bit of work, you can certainly get a sense of what your viewership is.Â While you may not have quick access to this information, you can certainly look at who is subscribing to your videos, and leaving comments. YouTube users are fairly open and usually post their age on their profiles. You just have to go and get this data – there is not automatic way to do this – yet.
In addition to answering these kinds of questions, we also suggested a few ideas for kinds of segments that would make sense for any dance organization.Â
For larger organizations, copyright and licensing is a significant issue. Choreographers, Dancers, Union members, and Musicians all have licensing fees, so producing a video segment can be tricky.Â We suggested considering Behind-the-scenes or Dance Education videos. To avoid the up-front cost of licensing, video segments about your company members might also be a possibility. However, this is a growing issue and must be dealt with.
Another possibility is streaming rehearsal video. With the support of the Rockefeller Foundation’s New York City Innovation Fund, Merce Cunningham will begin doing this in February 2008 in a series calledÂ Mondays with Merce.Â
Overall, the conference provided a valuable opportunity to get a sense of where things are going. Dance/USA did a wonderful job in organizing everything. I trust there will be a very positive impact as a result of everyone’s participation.