Co-Founder and CEO of Marquee TV Simon Walker talks about their digital platform

With theatres returning to live audiences again, we emerge from the pandemic with a new hybrid approach – shows becoming increasingly accessible to watch online. Recognising a gap in the market for theatre online, Marquee TV was launched in 2018, a platform showcasing dance, opera, theatre, music and live performance from some of the world’s most recognised organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House. Currently available to access online, as well as on App Store, Google Play, Apple TV, Fire TV amongst others, co-founder Simon Walker tells us more about what to expect from the platform.

Hi Marquee TV, you’re an online streaming service offering dance, opera, theatre, music and live performance. What does it mean to be able to create a platform for the arts digitally?

We created Marquee TV to solve two problems:

First, the problem for arts audiences, that there was no global streaming service serving their passion. Why shouldn’t performing arts lovers have an app on their TV or phone that does for them what Netflix does for lovers of drama and movies?

Second, the problem for artists and arts organisations, that there was no go-to, trusted partner for all things digital and streaming. Why should the greatest arts venues in the world have to hawk their wares on YouTube or waste their money building expensive IT solutions that already exist?

We are proud to say Marquee TV solves both these problems?

What can viewers expect from Marquee TV?

It’s super simple – Marquee TVis the ultimate arts companion. The Marquee TV appcurates the finest performances from the world’s greatest arts organisations. We believe that the arts can transform lives and we think everyone should have access, wherever they live, whatever their background and however deep their wallets. Audiences can expect the opera from Glyndebourne, music from the London Symphony Orchestra, theatre from the Royal Shakespeare Company, ballet from the Bolshoiand a particular focus on contemporary and up and coming artists.

The platform involves you collaborating with various well known theatre companies, from the Royal Shakespeare Company, to the Royal Opera House. How do you curate what shows are available to view on the platform?

Our editorial team are the best in the business – accessible experts full of infectious enthusiasm and passion for the arts. They make the arts easy to navigate by joining the dots across genres. For someone like me who is not hugely knowledgeable I love the fact that Marquee TV is a 100% ‘snoot-free’ zone.

During the pandemic, and post, did you/have you noticed any trends in terms of what viewers access?

Dance has been huge. We don’t really understand why, to be honest, but there’s something viscerally attractive about movement that lures people in. Dance catches the eye and attracts an audience who then stay for the music, theatre, and opera.

What was the impact of the year on the platform? What have you taken away from the year?

The lesson is to always be innovating. During lockdowns our digital platform became a critical way for arts audiences and arts organisations to connect. But as people surge back to theatres, concert halls and festivals Marquee TV can enhance and enrich those in person experiences too. The future is hybrid and the whole sector has learned to be more agile and digital.
The resource is also available to download on the App Store and Google Play, as well as other various online platforms such as Apple TV and Fire TV. What does having Marquee TV on these various platforms mean for accessibility?
Our mission is to put the performing arts at people’s fingertips, so we have to be on every platform where the audience consumes content. Like Netflix, we find that although people sign up on mobile devices or on the web, they pretty quickly start watching most of the content on their main TV with all the features that brings.

You offer a 7-day free trial for potential customers. How can they access this? What can they expect?

Download the app or search online for Marquee TV. The arts are an incredible, powerful gift and after the 18 months we just experienced, those experiences are needed now more than ever. Dive in and explore a world of wonder.

Questions by Lucy Basaba.

To find out more about Marquee TV, visit here…
Written by Theatrefullstop