How Stage Ten’s Video Platform Helped John Krasinski and Cardi B Remote Broadcast in a Pandemic
Sep 25, 2020
Founded in 2005, Stage Ten has been behind video production for live streaming to social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The simple behind-the-scenes interface allows guest to stream from anywhere in the world and during the pandemic and lockdown has helped productions broadcast remote content. It is behind John Krasinski’s “Some Good News Prom,” “In Goop Health: The Sessions,” “No Filter with Naomi Campbell,” and went live with Cardi B to promote her new single and Live with Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper. Sonia Hong, Head of Production and Creative Development, talks with Variety about how Stage Ten has stepped in with its virtual control rooms so creators can continue to broadcast during the coronavirus pandemic. Where was Stage Ten when this began? Five years ago, we did our first interactive show where we invited pet owners and pets to compete in this global format where people could vote. It was our first foray into this format. What we were trying to do was to make it easy for creators to access the tool and to do it from anywhere in the world to create a live production. You didn’t have to be in the same room to do this – it was your satellite truck production team, but online. Since you were already doing remote broadcasting, what impact did the pandemic have on Stage Ten? We had these interactive and transactional videos, and they were authentic ways for people to connect. And what we’re really passionate about is having, you know, creators be able to connect. And I saw these trends happening before COVID. When COVID hit, it sort of accelerated what we already knew. Remote interactive production has always been obvious and inevitable at Stage Ten. I think during the pandemic, media companies and creators have realized that the only old ways of doing things aren’t necessary anymore. During COVID, we’ve become more isolated than ever and now we’re creating new ways for people to connect. What were some of those new ways and did you see demand spike since March? We have 160,000 users and that doubled since March. One of the biggest projects we did was the MrBeast Creator Games. We had 32 creators around the world playing rock, paper, scissors to raise money for the World Health Organization. It was meant to be held in a stadium, but because of the pandemic, it was done remotely. And it ended up being one of the most-watched YouTube original productions and helped to raise $7 million. John Krasinski stumbled into it and he did it, that’s how easy it is. He wanted to do it himself. The biggest problem with anything remote is internet connection, how does Stage Ten work when there’s a live broadcast? We have a live link and a green room where people can do tech checks. It’s a seamless process so anyone can check-in at any time with the link. There’s an app for both Apple and Android. Or people can use their browsers to participate.