For the 11th time, Scrn has the honour of working on the world’s largest TV entertainment show; the Eurovision Song Contest. What used to be one night of television once a year, has turned into a year-round cross-medial entertainment experience that culminates in three spectacular live broadcasts. What few people know, is that the preparations for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest started a year ago, just minutes after the previous edition, under supervision of the European Broadcasting Union.
Some 200 million TV viewers spread across all continents, 42 participating countries bring over a thousand delegates. The event brings together some 1,500 accredited journalists from nearly 80 countries, a crew of hundreds and a live audience of some 9,000 people. The numbers are at least as spectacular as the three shows themselves.
Since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest has brought people together, languages and cultures, dominating the European media landscape for several weeks a year. After Ukraine’s victory last year, this year’s contest takes place in Kyiv’s International Exhibition Centre under the theme Celebrate Diversity.
Since 2007, Scrn has been involved with the Eurovision Song Contest, first as the contest’s official online agency. Between 2008 and 2016, we have coordinated all communications and PR activities around the event, to return to focus on the digital field; the official website Eurovision.tv, the contest’s official YouTube channel and various production-critical online tools.
Centre of the universe
Paul Jordan, Digital Communications Manager at Scrn, is responsible for the entire online operation at the Eurovision Song Contest. “Earlier this year, we launched a completely new official website. It truly is the centre of the contest’s online universe. Our dedicated team of editors, photographers and video producers create thousands of pieces of content to make sure the fans at home don’t miss anything of what’s happening in Kyiv. Throughout May, the website is expected to generate over 50 million page views,” Jordan says.
The website is powered by a new, custom-built content management system. For optimal distribution, even at peak times during the live broadcasts, Scrn works together with CloudFlare. Content is also being syndicated in the official app, produced for iOS, Android and Windows in cooperation with the contest’s official voting partner Digame.
Scrn works closely together with the London-based agency Premier, who run the official social media channels of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU. All together, the contest’s social media channels bring together nearly 5 million fans.
The real social madness happens on Twitter, where #Eurovision was seen some four billion times last year.
Over half a billion views
Video-on-demand and live streaming play an important role in connecting with a younger audience and to extend the experience beyond the three live shows.
Stijn Smulders, Online Video Manager at Scrn, operates the contest’s official YouTube channel, which is nearing the 1.5 million subscriber mark. “During the two weeks on-site, we upload over 250 videos, from rehearsals to unique backstage reports and of course, the performances from the live shows. Until the end of June, we expect the channel to generate well over half a billion views,” Smulders says.
More than three million people are expected to tune in for the live streams of the three shows via YouTube. Scrn coordinates the live streams together with the EBU’s stream farm in Geneva.
Supporting public service media
Scrn is the official digital agency for the Eurovision Song Contest and four of its spin-off events (the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Young Musicians, Eurovision Young Dancers and Eurovision Choir of the Year).
“We are proud to work closely with the European Broadcasting Union and its 42 Member Broadcasters, supporting public service media, providing an excellent online experience for millions of people. We hope to bring as many people as possible closer to the greatest TV show on earth,” says Sietse Bakker, CEO of Scrn.
Photo: Andres Putting