Conventions and Reside Streaming: We Break Down the Huge Debate – Digital Marketing Agency / Company in Chennai

Followers attend a crowded panel at Star Wars Celebration 2022.
Picture: Jesse Grant/Getty Photos for Disney (Getty Photos)

In April, Celebration will return to London, England for the primary time in seven years. It’s going to be an enormous occasion, with information on the following Star Wars movie greater than doubtless, and loads of footage from upcoming tasks like Ahsoka, , and who is aware of what else. These are issues each single Star Wars fan needs to see—however almost definitely, they’ll solely be accessible to the choose thousand in attendance.

Even earlier than covid-19, followers in all places debated and questioned why large conventions like Star Wars Celebration and San Diego Comedian-Con don’t stay stream their panels. Then, throughout the pandemic, occasions like DC Fandome made it clear there was a approach for followers in all places to interact with cool popular culture occasions. Issues have begun to swing again the opposite approach although, and in current days, it’s a debate I’ve seen raging once more on my Twitter feed. A visit to London for Star Wars followers who don’t stay within the UK is extraordinarily costly. Simply because somebody can’t afford to journey to a conference shouldn’t deny them this pleasure. Why can’t the enjoyable simply be shared by everybody?

These are legitimate questions. And in recent times, Star Wars Celebration particularly has made some extent to attempt to appease followers each in attendance and never. Starting in 2015, Star Wars started broadcasting stay protection from the conference the place hosts interviewed company, mentioned information, and explored totally different elements of the occasion. Within the years since, that digital presence has grown, and now main stars from the large panels present up there and at any time throughout the day, you’ll be able to pop on the feed and see one thing cool. A few of which is, sure, live-streamed panels accessible at no cost, for anybody who needs to look at. It’s grow to be an enormous a part of Star Wars Celebration and, this yr in London, we think about it’ll proceed.

However there’s a restrict. Not every part is stay streamed. Many of the larger panels, particularly those the place unique footage or breaking information occurs, will not be broadcast for all to see, and that’s the place folks get confused and mad. Why not present these? Effectively, it’s a sophisticated reply that boils right down to a not-so-complicated idea: cash. Provide and demand.

Marvel Studios doesn’t skimp for followers in Corridor H, seen right here in 2016.
Picture: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Photos for Disney (Getty Photos)

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People go to conventions for a lot of reasons. To celebrate their favorite franchises, to dress up, buy things, get autographs, make friends, all that good stuff. But also people also go to conventions for things they can’t get anywhere else. Sometimes that’s an experience, sometimes it’s merchandise, and sometimes it’s bragging rights. People want to be able to say or tweet “I was among the first people ever to learn this or see that.” And those people pay handsomely for it: airfare, hotel, tickets, meals, you name it. That money then trickles down not just to the convention selling tickets, but the food vendors, toy sellers, taxi companies, hotels, etc. Conventions are a big business not just for people running the conventions, but for the venues and cities where they take place.

So what happens to that model if the biggest, most high-demand panels start live streaming? People will still go, of course. San Diego Comic-Con, for example, is about much more than just what happens in Hall H. But Hall H is the showstopper and if supply and access to something like that increases, the demand is certain to decrease over time. If someone can count on watching exclusive footage at home, even at a cost, why would they spend thousands of dollars to travel to a convention? Again, there’s more to do at a convention than watch footage all day—so while the events won’t cease to exist, the prestige associated with attending them in person could diminish. There are hundreds of conventions all over the world every year, but you don’t hear about most of them because they’re not where studios make major announcements and parade their biggest superstars. If conventions like SDCC make that footage easily accessible, you have to imagine people on the fence about traveling might decide against it. And that takes money out of everyone involved’s pockets. Plain and simple.

Footage from the Ahsoka panel at Celebration 2022 still hasn’t made it online.
Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney (Getty Images)

Another reason why these big exclusive panels aren’t likely to be live streamed is the footage itself. For a studio or filmmaker to really give fans in attendance something special, more times than not, they have to show footage that’s unfinished. Footage that’s not quite ready to be broken down frame by frame on the internet. So, it screens in a room one or two times, people watch it, get excited, and there’s a certain buzzy mystique about it. For a moment the footage exists only in the audience’s head—a rare scenario in today’s online-obsessed world.

There are several points to be made here. The first is if the footage can play at the convention, why can’t it be released online at the same time? The answer is, sometimes it can and sometimes it can’t. Many studios and filmmakers have shown a trailer in Hall H at Comic-Con and then, minutes later, uploaded it to YouTube. People in the room get that experience of being first and then everyone else can enjoy it too. Win-win!

The issue is that type of footage only comes much later in the filmmaking process. Oftentimes, fans want to see footage from movies or shows that are much further out from release, and that means showing unfinished effects, footage from only select scenes, footage that has temporary music or sound, etc. What’s available at that time in the process is in no way a finished product and shouldn’t be judged as such. It’s ready to exist in your mind but not on your laptop.

A crowd fills the room at New York Comic Con 2022.
Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for ReedPop (Getty Images)

But that kind of footage is what it’s all about. If conventions are only showing footage that’s ready to be released in public, it’s simply not as exciting. Exclusivity is key. That’s why Marvel Studios, for example, will show footage from 5-6 movies at a convention and then only release 2-3 trailers. It’s attempting to strike a balance between the people who paid thousands of dollars to sleep on the grass outside the San Diego Convention Center for two nights, and the fan who can’t do that and is back at home.

Maybe then, you’re wondering, what about charging for the live stream? That sounds like a viable option if this is all about money, right? You’d think so but there’s more to it. Where does that money go? How do you split it up? Does it go to the studios or filmmaker whose product you’re watching? What about the streamer facilitating the feed? Shouldn’t the convention that makes it all possible get some? That’s not even beginning to think about how much less everyone else involved with the convention would guess. No need for a hotel room to buy a live stream. No need for you to eat at a local restaurant. Plus, there’s that other thing…

In all of these situations, one thing that can’t be avoided is bootlegs. Inevitably, someone in a room of thousands will take out their phone and film the footage, even with security guards roaming around and strict warnings not to do it. Short of taking everyone’s phones, you simply can’t get around it—which is hugely unfortunate, because it’s so short-sighted. Bootleg footage makes studios and filmmakers less likely to show footage in the future. If a creator doesn’t want their work analyzed in a 4K YouTube file just yet, surely they don’t want fans to see it shot on a phone resting on someone’s lap. On the other hand, some might see this as the ultimate democratization of the system and maybe there’s some truth in that. But to us, more than that, it’s a betrayal—to the fans who are in the room, who have an unwritten agreement to respect the people they’ve come to see, and to those people themselves, who are trusting fans not to steal their content. When someone goes against that, it’s just shitty. There’s no other way to put it.

And in a way, all of this is shitty. This is not a very nice argument to make. It’s classist and exclusionary. It’s putting a dollar sign on fandom which goes against the very idea of fandom. But there’s a very important distinction here. You can’t and shouldn’t put a price on fandom. You aren’t a better fan because you spend more money on it than someone else. What you can put a price on, though, is the product of that fandom and that’s what these conventions are. They aren’t a measure of your fandom, they’re something you’re buying.

Conventions are big business for everyone.
Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Much like you’d buy a Star Wars-themed shirt to express your fandom, conventions are basically just that to an exponential degree. A themed vacation. It takes money, yes, but also a significant effort to attend. San Diego Comic-Con, for example, requires you to buy a ticket months in advance and only offers a limited number of nearby hotels, both of which sell out incredibly quickly. If by some miracle you get by all that and want to see the new Marvel or DC footage, you then have to put in additional time and effort on top of the money you’ve spent to camp out and secure a place in line. Nothing is guaranteed. If you’re willing to go through all that and someone else isn’t, there should be a worthy reward.

Non-streamed, in-the-room-only panels with exclusive footage are that pot of gold at the end of that rainbow. They’re one of the biggest products conventions have to sell. And the better they sell them, the more conventions are going to make in the long run, as is everyone else involved. If companies start just giving their products away by live streaming these panels, it impacts not only them, it impacts the conventions, the people working at the conventions, and all the way down the line. There are solid middle grounds and maybe other solutions to come in the future—but right now, we have a feeling live streaming conventions in full is simply never going to happen.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest , Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the , and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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