BookTix Takes Live Performances From On-Stage to Online With AWS

Governor MifflinHS Spamalot

Putting together a live performance of any scale is a complex process with many moving parts, from securing and preparing the venue, performers, set, and dressings to attracting an audience and managing ticket sales. Until recently, the ticketing process for these events has either been through digital solutions or arduous manual approaches. The co-founders of BookTix, Tim DiVito and Jason Goldstein, shattered this paradigm a decade ago with the launch of their innovative live event ticketing system BookTix, built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Seeing a need from their customer base, BookTix recently extended its platform to support event live streams with the debut of BookTix Live. A powerful yet simple, efficient, and affordable live event streaming solution, it has enabled community and school theater productions to continue as the global pandemic shuttered venues indefinitely.

“We are a company that’s deeply connected to our clients. We all have backgrounds in the arts, and it was heartbreaking to hear about all these schools not being able to perform in 2020; one school even had to cancel the day of the performance. We knew we had to find a way for the show to go on for these customers and felt compelled to find a resolution. Collaborating with AWS, whose technology has powered some of the biggest live stream events in entertainment, was a given as we began to envision a solution,” said Timothy DiVito, Co-Owner, BookTix.

BookTix Live builds on the functionality of the company’s innovative BookTix ticketing system, enabling theater productions to easily and securely live stream shows to audiences online. Patrons first purchase a StreamPass ticket, then receive an email with a direct link to the BookTix Live player and a single use access code to view the show during the designated time via a DRM-protected stream. Productions can stream live content, pre-recorded video, or even a remote performance conducted via video conferencing platforms, and BookTix provides dedicated support to ensure that productions can realize their creative visions.

Under the hood, BookTix is powered by a swath of AWS Media Services, including AWS Elemental MediaLive for broadcast-grade live video processing, AWS Elemental MediaConvert for video transcoding, and AWS Elemental MediaPackage for preparing and protecting content. The company also taps Amazon CloudFront for content delivery, Amazon Aurora and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for database and backup storage, and Amazon ElasticCache for in-memory data stores.

“In-person community and school theatre productions were hit especially hard during the pandemic. Pivoting to livestreaming was the natural response, but it came with many logistical issues, not the least of which was the need for a powerful and reliable infrastructure. By building on AWS and allowing its services to manage the BookTix Live infrastructure, we can focus on ensuring our customers have all the tools they need to achieve success,” Tim explained. “Most of our clients, even professional theaters, had never done a streaming show before. We’re able to put our resources into building features and training materials so that the teachers and directors can focus on the show.”

Even as venues are beginning to re-open, often with social distancing still in mind, BookTix is seeing increasing customer demand for hybrid ticketing options, serving both in-person and online audiences. The platform has helped expand the audience that productions can reach beyond venue capacity and provide access to previously untapped revenue. In closing, Tim shared, “At the end to the day, our focus is to provide clients with a reliable solution for sharing high quality, low-latency content with their audiences, and our AWS-powered streams play beautifully. The passion we’ve seen from the schools and casts using BookTix Live is just incredible, and we’re super happy to have helped make it happen.”