NEW YORK, April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Classical TV, the premier destination for the best performing arts online, announced today the launch of Classical TV's free performing arts channel on Roku. Via Roku-- which seamlessly connects consumers' TVs with their wireless internet-- the Classical TV channel offers a rotating selection of its free, high-quality, full-length videos in seven categories: "All-Time Favorites," "Classical Music," "Jazz," "Great Pianists," "Operas, Songs, and Arias," "Popular Music," and "Cultural Excursions."
Classical TV joins other top entertainment brands on Roku, including Netflix, NBA, NHL, Pandora, HuluPlus, Amazon Instant Video, and C-Net.
"We're excited to expand the reach of our programming and thrilled to be part of Roku's growing platform," said Derek Nelson, Classical TV's Chief Operations Officer. "While our website, classicaltv.com, continues to grow, our new Roku channel helps us fulfill the strong demand for high-quality cultural programming that we've proved is out there." Other partnerships are also in the works to syndicate Classical TV's unique collection of performing arts videos.
Launched in 2002, Roku is a market leader in streaming entertainment. The Roku box, available for purchase from $59.99, gives access to movies, TV shows, sporting events, and more—for free, via subscription or pay per view. For more on Roku, see www.roku.com
BACKGROUND ON CLASSICAL TV
"The performing arts website many of us have been dreaming of…" --James Wolcott, VanityFair.com
Classical TV launched in July, 2009 at www.classicaltv.com with a free streaming of the Salzburg Festival Opening Night Gala. Founded by Emmy Award-winning producer/director Chris Hunt, who also created Online Classics, Classical TV currently encompasses over 1100 hours of high-quality performing arts video programs, available largely for free. New programs are added regularly. Among the pay-per-view offerings are the Metropolitan Opera's acclaimed hi-def productions.
Classical TV's library of programs encompasses not only opera but symphonic and chamber music, ballet and modern dance, jazz and pop music, theater and musicals, and documentaries. These include performances from the world's most prestigious stages such as St. Petersburg's Mariinsky (Kirov) Theater, London's Royal Albert Hall, Paris's Theatre du Chatelet, and many others. Artists featured include Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Nina Simone, Luciano Pavarotti, Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna, Quincy Jones, Carlos Acosta, Martha Argerich, Johnny Cash, Pierre Boulez, and many more.
CLASSICAL TV OFFERS GREAT VIDEOS PLUS GREAT COMMENTARY
Classical TV also offers a wealth of lively and informative exclusive editorial content including feature articles, topical playlists, insider columns, series, and cultural news that give fresh insights into the world of classical performance and context for Classical TV's vast library. Classical TV's roster of commentators includes some of the most respected cultural journalists including Claudia La Rocco, Vivien Schweitzer, Chris Kompanek, Damian Fowler, and Robert J. Hughes. Current series include "Glories of the Classical Style," "Music-- The Universal Language," and "Mondays With Merce."
"CLASSICAL TV brings 'performance on demand' to a new level, taking high-brow art events out of stuffy halls and streaming them directly to your computer." --Flavorpill
CLASSICAL TV'S PERFORMING ARTS VIDEOS DRAW A SURPRISINGLY YOUNG AUDIENCE
In the almost two years since launching, Classical TV has built a conspicuously young audience:
20.6% are 18-to-24 years old
51.2% are 18-to-34 years old—more than half!
79.6% are 18-to-49 years old
In addition, Classical TV is "sticky." Viewers spend at least of three times longer, on average, watching Classical TV programs than they do any other long-form streamed video programs online. The audience was measured with Microsoft Analytics.
"We're helping reshape the demographic of classical audiences," said Classical TV's Content Director Stephen Greco. "We've made it easier for everyone, including younger people, to engage with classical performances. Of course, we have a secure base of mature culture lovers, but we're delighted that many younger viewers are watching, say, La Boheme, here for the first time and then coming back for more."
Greco is a former editor of Stagebill, 7 Days, and Interview magazines.