Webber 2.0: Theatre Impresario Plans Content Push, Music Downloads

imageAndrew Lloyd Webber plans to make his Really Useful Group in to a proper online content destination, with an upcoming overhaul of its website that will add audio downloads and social features, we have learned. Until now, the company – which has stage, movie, music, ticketing and magazine interests – has had a fairly rudimentary digital presence. But Douglas Glen, the former BBC Worldwide digital media technology strategy head who left for the same position at Really Useful in June, has been working on a refresh…

The group plans to let registered users build their own personalised spaces on the site, themed around a variety of musical shows, plus post reviews and blog entries through a new “Backstage” area. They will also get audio and video content and other news. The new site will also offer a download store with recordings from shows and a monthly podcast featuring interviews with Lloyd-Webber’s cohorts from the last 40 years, hosted by the Phantom Of The Opera songsmith’s creative director Tris Penna.

Glen told paidContent:UK Really Useful wanted to target the “entertainment consumer” with a proposition pinned around Lloyd-Webber’s identity, and it’s particularly targeting US consumers with the changes: “The US represents our second biggest online audience – we’re looking to build upon this. The international and specifically US market has always been important to us – our brands are recognised globally: for example, Phantom Of The Opera was the number one show in Las Vegas.

“With content brands as strong as ours, we’re looking to cater to the passion of our existing, loyal base who are eager to remain engaged with our content and, at the same time, attract a whole new audience who may not be as familiar with the length and breadth of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s catalogue.” Really Useful has also licensed secondary-ticket marketplace Viagogo to sell some of its tickets.

Photo Credit: Tracey Nolan, some rights reserved