ITsART: the new ‘streaming’ platform that unites millennia of Italian culture on the same screen | TV

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A moment of the representation of 'Madina' at the Scala in Milan in October 2021 that can already be seen on ItsArt.
A moment of the representation of ‘Madina’ at the Scala in Milan in October 2021 that can already be seen on ItsArt.La Scala Theater in Milan

And youeexceptional mpos, exceptional measures. In 2020, the year of the covid, the average monthly consumption of cultural products by Italian families remained in half (it fell by 47% compared to the previous year), according to the Observatorio de Empresa Cultura Italia-Confcommercio. What did skyrocket in the same period of time was the use of pay television, which grew by 37%. Dario Franceschini’s Ministry of Culture took note of these two data to try to help the country’s creative industry, which has seen his government reopen football stadiums for thousands of people while theaters, cinemas and concert halls remained closed.

The solution came in the form of a platform streaming. Initially invested 10 million euros and, after months of work, launched in January 2021 all the content in a single window, called ITsART, which from this week reaches the other 26 countries of the European Union after having jumped ago. a few months to the UK, and has plans to do so on other continents in the future. Pompeii, the Scala in Milan, the Egyptian Museum in Turin, the historical legacy of Rome… thousands of years of culture enclosed in the same screen.

“We have to rethink the way we record performing arts shows, it is not worth just placing a camera in front of the stage. Also to take care of the subtitles [de momento en español, inglés y alemán]”, Guido Casali, executive director of this new international service, told this newspaper this Tuesday, after a presentation to the media conveniently located among the thousands of years of history of the Colosseum in Rome.

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As many readers may have guessed, the platform has already been given the catchphrase of being the Netflix of Italian culture. But it is not a very accurate comparison. While preparing the launch of its own application, it can be seen through its website, on televisions and smartphones and tablets, but its payment model is not an annual subscription, but is staggered in three sections.

A mixed model

Subscribing to it is free. From there, the user will find a selection of content at zero cost, such as opera Turandot by Puccini at the Teatro Regio in Parma. Others are free that include ads, such as the documentary medium-length film Caravaggio, the power of light. And, in most cases, the option to pay individually for viewing premium specific content is offered. The ballet rental Madina from La Scala costs 9.90 euros. It is one of Casali’s favorites “due to the quality of Mario Bigonzetti’s choreography and its theme.” It was performed in Milan during the first half of October and, 10 days later, it is already available on ITsART “thanks to a rapid audiovisual post-production process”, he explains.

For what is the country in the world with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites -58 compared to 49 in Spain, which occupies the fourth position-, it was important that ITsART was born before the rest of Europe in the Eternal City as the eternal platform, due to the vastness of its content. It already brings together 1,275 titles between podcasts and documentaries (dedicated to the musician Ennio Morricone or the writer Susanna Tamaro, among many others), fiction films (Felini, De Sica, Rossellini …), opera and ballet shows. And it is only the beginning, advance those responsible.

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A moment from the documentary Inédita, dedicated to the writer Susanna Tamaro.
A moment from the documentary Inédita, dedicated to the writer Susanna Tamaro.ItsArt

One of the challenges of ITsART so that its enormous potential is not left half is to achieve the technology at the height of such an ambitious digital content project, a not so simple matter with which the European version of HBO has been grappling. for years until the arrival of HBO Max. The first version of the Italian platform, launched at the beginning of the year within the country, aroused suspicions in the Italian edition of the publication specialized in technology Wired, uncomfortable because the government sought as a technological partner a private company with great losses, Chili – which owns 49% of the company compared to 51% government – instead of using the resources of the public television Rai.

Out of the hundreds of institutions with which it collaborates, ITsART highlights its union with Cinecittá. The new president of the legendary film studios, Chiara Sbarigia, highlights that the last few months have taught them to have a new concept of archive: “Preserving it is not enough. Our main objective is to share that legacy with the public ”, he pointed out during the presentation of this service. Her association with him is to create her own content in the future and even have her own channel, the Italian pointed out on Tuesday. Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of the Pompeii archaeological park, stands in the same direction. “The pandemic made us believe that it was taking us away from our main objective, which was the public, but the streaming it brought us closer to many more people and taught us to work from now on from a new perspective ”, he defended.

One of the great bets of ITsART is to connect at the same time with the audience present in the room and with thousands of people from other places who are in their homes. “The streaming it complements, in no case does it replace the live experience ”, defended Guido Casali to this newspaper. For the film side of the platform, the executive director has a model to follow: “We would like to be connected with all the festivals in the country, as Filmin has achieved in Spain during these months.”

The Liceo, also in a plus version

In Spain, the months of isolation led to the emergence of My Opera Player, a video platform for the Teatro Real in Madrid. Now Liceu + is also born, the virtual stage of the Barcelona Opera House developed by the Mediapro production company. His first event came a few days ago. On Sunday, November 21, a live concert by Gustavo Dudamel with the Orchester de l’Opéra National de Paris could be seen for free on the stage of the Gran Teatre. In this first phase of launch, Liceu + will have content on shows of the season, in-depth interviews in podcasts and concerts in streaming. Liceu + content is free for everyone with prior registration and will be available in Spanish and Catalan, in the case of audio, and also in English, in the case of video. And, looking back, part of its offer is related to the 175-year history of the Barcelona venue.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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